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Tobacco Company Loses Appeal, Goes Back to Court

Philip Morris will be heading back to court after the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the tobacco giant's appeal of a $10.1 billion judgment on Wednesday, officials said.

The lawsuit will now go back to Madison County Circuit Court for "further proceedings" after the company's appeal to overturn a lower-court ruling reviving the suit was denied.

The $10.1 billion judgment was ordered by a 2003 circuit court judge as compensatory and punitive damages in a class-action lawsuit brought by smokers against Philip Morris, who allegedly deceived consumers by advertising a segment of its products as "light" cigarettes containing "lowered tar and nicotine."

The judgment was reversed in 2005 by the Illinois Supreme Court, which found that the Phillip Morris' use of the words "light, low or reduced" in advertising for its cigarettes was allowed by the Federal Trade Commission.

In 2008, however, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the use of those terms was not authorized by the FTC, prompting the revival of the $10.1 billion lawsuit in Illinois.

The Illinois Supreme Court declined to review the company's appeal this week, which will allow the original suit to move forward.

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