Little Rock lawyer Thomas Thrash provides an update on pending class action legislation aimed at winning damages from Phillip Morris for alleged deceptive marketing of Marlboro Light cigarettes as safer and healthier than “regular” cigarettes.
The U.S. Justice Department, Thrash notes, has referred in its own separate lawsuit to the marketing campaign as a “con job.”
A class certification hearing is set in Judge Tim Fox’s court Oct. 22. Recently, the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids asked to intervene in the case as part of their campaigns to protect public health. These agencies and the state Health Department and UAMS are potential beneficiaries — after purchasers of the cigarettes — should the case prove successful. Claims will be in the millions.
The Altria Group, parent of the cigarette maker, and Phllip Morris have been frequent contributors to Arkansas political campaigns over the years, Thrash notes. Yes. And I bet they’d like to see some “tort reform.”