The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a $145-billion
damage award against cigarette manufacturers in the United
States and stripped the case of its class-action status.
The court, however, allowed individual claims of damage.
the $145-billion damages award as "excessive as a
matter of law" the court also reinstated compensatory
damages awarded in some cases.
Miami court had, in 2000, slapped the tobacco industry
with the $145 billion in damages verdict in a suit filed
on behalf of a group of sick smokers and the estates of
some dead ones. The suit accused tobacco companies of
misleading the public about the dangers of smoking.
court did not entirely leave out some findings of liability
but concluded that the causes of individual harm and the
apportionment of fault among the defendants "are
highly individualised and do not lend themselves to class-action
the decision did not get the companies off the hook entirely,
it pushed up prices of tobacco stocks.
final decision should come from the justice department.