Tillery targets Philip Morris in new suit

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 23, 2004, 11:18am


Stephen Tillery

Helping lung cancer victims recover in ways medical doctors cannot, renowned plaintiff's attorney Stephen Tillery filed suit against Philip Morris USA again Tuesday on behalf of his client, Steven Squires of Alton.

Squires, who has smoked between a pack-and-a-half and two packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years, is seeking more than $250,000 from Philip Morris. His suit accuses the tobacco company of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act by representing Marlboro Lights as “lights” and thus implicitly representing that they contained lower tar and nicotine.

A smoker since he was a teenager, Squires was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2001. He alleges his lung cancer was caused by smoking Marlboro Lights.

He claims he received higher levels of tar and nicotine from his Marlboro Lights than Philip Morris represented and that the smoke was also more mutagenic than regular cigarettes, according to the complaint.

Squires alleges he did not know any of the facts from which he might reasonably have concluded that smoke produced by Marlboro Lights was more mutagenic.

"Each milligram of tar from Marlboro Lights cigarettes actually increases the mutagenicity (genetic and chromosomal damage) of the tar delivered to the consumer and increases the levels of most of the harmful toxins delivered to the consumer," Squires alleges in the suit.

He would not have purchased Marlboro Lights if he was aware of Philip Morris' alleged deceptive practices.

The complaint is the third consumer fraud suit Tillery, of the St. Louis firm Korrein Tillery, filed within a week aimed at the tobacco industry. Tillery was the class action plaintiff's attorney in the now-famous $10.1 billion bench verdict against Philip Morris USA last year. His attorney's fees were $1.7 billion.

This case has been assigned to Judge Philip Kardis.

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