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Class Action Award Against Philip Morris Thrown Out By Ohio Supremes

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Thanks to U. of Alberta's Moin Yahya for alerting me to a welcome development: a Supreme Court of Ohio decision reversing lower courts and throwing out a class action award against Philip Morris. Lower courts had allowed PMI to be held liable for fraud for selling "light" cigarettes -- a claim similar to that in the Oregon case currently before the Supremes.

Writing for the majority, Justice Stratton wrote that no precedent in Ohio law, nor any Ohio regulation, gave any notice to Philip Morris that its production of "light" cigarettes might be deemed deceptive under Ohio's consumer protection legislation.
In addition, the majority said that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) extensively regulates the tobacco industry and had approved the tar and nicotine testing methods and advertising of such methods that PMI used. PMI was required to follow the federal mandates and standards for its light cigarettes.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.