Philip Morris seeks to overturn $12bn bond

Tobacco giant Philip Morris USA has said it would appeal a judge's renewed order that it post a crippling $12 billion bond related to a massive lawsuit.

    Lighting up: Philip Morris is facing billions in damages to smokers it allegedly misled

    The company had previously succeeded in getting Judge Nicholas Byron to cut in half to six billion dollars a bond that it must post in order to appeal a massive fine.

    But after an appellate court's July 14 finding that he had overstepped his powers, the Madison County judge Friday re-imposed the original 12-billion-dollar bond requirement on the company.

    "Philip Morris USA strongly believes that requiring a bond of $12 billion so burdens the company's right to appeal ... as to deny due process," said Philip Morris counsel William Ohlemeyer on Friday.

    'Misled smokers'

    "Unless the Illinois Supreme Court overrules the appellate court regarding Judge Byron's discretion in establishing the terms of a lower bond, the company will face enormous financial uncertainty in the short term," it said.

    Philip Morris USA must post the bond if it is to appeal against a $10.1 billion verdict that it misled smokers about light cigarettes.

    On March 21, Philip Morris was ordered to pay $7.1 billion in actual damages to smokers and $3 billion in punitive damages to Illinois for misleading smokers about the dangers of Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights cigarettes over the past 30 years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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