Justice Charles Freeman
Justice Thomas Kilbride
The Illinois Supreme Court announced that it has refused to rehear Price v. Philip Morris, the $10.1 billion Madison County verdict it overturned in December.
Justices Charles Freeman and Thomas Kilbride dissented.
The U.S. Supreme also refused to hear the case in which plaintiffs alleged they were dupued into believing "light" cigarettes were safer than regular ones.
After the class action lawsuit was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Dec. 15 by a 4-2 vote, plaintiff's attorney Stephen Tillery filed a motion to reconsider the verdict.
The Illinois Supreme Court's decision to overturn Madision County Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron bench verdict, was ground in a section of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, which exempts conduct allowed by U.S. regulatory bodies.
The court held that the Federal Trade Commission authorized tobacco companies to characterize cigarettes as "light" or "low tar and nicotine."
Byron issued the verdict in 2003, citing the defendant duped smokers into believing light cigarettes were safer than regular ones.
At the time, Byron called Philip Morris' conduct "outrageous and evil."
The class action lawsuit was brought by lead plaintiff Sharon Price, an East Alton police dispatcher. She claimed she started smoking in 1966 and switched to Cambridge Lights in 1986.
Plaintiffs presented evidence that "light" or "low tar" cigarettes promoted at that time were no safer than regular cigarettes and, in fact, could be more harmful. They also presented evidence that defendant was aware of this.