The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to review whether an appeals court properly reinstated a 10-year-old, class action lawsuit against Philip Morris that claims the company fraudulently marketed Marlboro Lights as a safer cigarette.
Last December, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reinstated the dormant case against the tobacco maker, reversing a district court ruling that Philip Morris “could not be sued for false advertising, consumer fraud, and deceptive trade practices regarding light cigarettes in violation of Minnesota consumer-protection statutes.”
The group filing the suit claims the tobacco company marketed the Marlboro Lights as safer than a typical cigarette.
But the tobacco company argues that the tobacco trial settlement with then Attorney General “Skip” Humphrey barred the lawsuit.
Today, Supreme Court Chief Justice Lori Gildea issued an order accepting the tobacco company’s request for review.
The Minnesota case mirrors several others filed in other states, with varying results. In Illinois last month, for example, a state appeals court reinstated a case that originally ended with a $10 billion judgment against the company.
The actions at the state level were revived after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a federal law regulating cigarette advertising did not prevent Maine from enforcing a state law banning false advertising in cases involving cigarettes.