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Smokers, Tobacco Companies Work to Resolve Lawsuits

Attorneys for smokers and tobacco companies are working to resolve thousands of Florida cases that could otherwise take decades to litigate.

Almost 3,800 separate federal claims were filed after a Florida Supreme Court split up a state class-action suit in 2006, denying a $145 billion jury award to smokers for various tobacco-related illnesses.

Attorneys for both sides met this week with two federal judges to discuss ideas for speeding up the litigation process.

During the meeting, the attorneys were asked to offer suggestions to expedite the claims, and they agreed to schedule 10 preliminary cases to go to trial first. They did not agree which cases would be among the first 10, however.

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