Philip Morris Sued Over ‘Lights’ Claims
Philip Morris Cos. was sued on behalf of Florida smokers of its Marlboro Lights, who want their money back because the cigarettes were marketed as safer than brands with higher tar and nicotine. The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in Hillsborough County against the New York-based cigarette giant echoes the claims in a Pennsylvania cased filed in March over RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp.'s “light” and “ultra-light” brands. The suits are part of the ripple effect of major health-care suits against the tobacco industry that produced documents showing cigarette makers knew that smokers using lower-nicotine brands compensated by covering up ventilation holes, inhaling more deeply and taking more puffs. “Philip Morris deceived its customers into buying its Marlboro Lights,” said attorney Jonathan Alpert, who is seeking permission to continue his suit as a statewide class action. “This is an economic case, not a health case. We want either disgorgement of profits or a refund of the purchase price.” The company had no immediate comment. Philip Morris shares rose 19 cents to close at $39.38 on the New York Stock Exchange. Announcement of the lawsuit came after the close of trading.