The Illinois Supreme Court has set oral arguments in the Price v. Philip Morris case to take place at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19.
The case started in Madison County in 2000, when attorney Stephen Tillery of St. Louis filed a class action under Illinois consumer fraud law.
Former circuit judge Nicholas Byron entered judgment for the class after a bench trial in 2003.
He ruled that for 30 years, Philip Morris deceived millions of smokers into expecting health benefits from light and low tar cigarettes.
He awarded more than $7 billion in compensatory damages, and he awarded $3 billion in punitive damages to the state of Illinois.
The Supreme Court reversed Byron in 2005, finding that the Federal Trade Commission authorized light and low tar labels.
The Justices did not resolve challenges that Philip Morris raised against Byron’s rulings on class certification, causation, and damages.
Tillery revived the case, claiming he obtained new evidence showing the Federal Trade Commission did not authorize light and low tar labels.
Byron’s successor, Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth, ruled that the new evidence would not have changed the Supreme Court’s decision.
Fifth District appellate judges reinstated Byron’s judgment last year, ruling that the new evidence would have changed the Supreme Court’s decision.
Philip Morris now argues that regardless of any new evidence, the Supreme Court should reverse Byron on class certification, causation, and damages.