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Appeal Expected In Reinstatement of $10.1 Billion 'Light' Cigarette Verdict

An appeal is expected in a case involving a reinstated $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA for misleading advertisements regarding the risks involved with smoking "light" cigarettes.

The decision was handed down on Tuesday by the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Mount Vernon, Illinois, reviving a 2003 judgment from a state trial court.

That judgment was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2005, a decision that was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006.

The plaintiffs in the case petitioned to revive the original judgment in 2008 after a decision by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to rescind a nearly half-century-old policy regarding advertising requirements for cigarettes.

A three-judge panel ruled this week that the original verdict in the class-action lawsuit should be reinstated, thus reviving the $10.1 billion damage award.

Philip Morris USA announced on Tuesday that it plans to file an immediate appeal of the verdict.