Judge to Philip Morris: Show Me the Money

Apr 07, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Philip Morris USA asked Madison County (IL) Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron on Friday to reduce the $12 billion bond required to appeal the judge’s ruling the tobacco company had knowingly deceived consumers about the risks of light cigarettes.

“We are asking only to be given the opportunity guaranteed by the United States and Illinois constitutions to have our appeal heard without being forced to post a bankrupting bond. In order to accomplish that, it is imperative that the trial court lower the bond to an amount that the company can satisfy or, alternatively, extend the stay of execution pending appellate review,” said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and associate general counsel.

The Globe and Mail of Toronto reports “If Altria (parent company of Philip Morris and Kraft Foods) can’t find a way to finance the appeal bond or significantly reduce the amount, the winning side will be free to seize assets to cover the judgment.”

Moderator’s Comment: What would be the impact on Kraft
and the two Philip Morris divisions should the $12 billion bond stand?

This case making it to court is the only ruling that needs
to be appealed.

Having once-upon-a-time smoked Marlboro Lights (way back
to the seventies when this deception allegedly began), we can remember being
clear that smoking these particular cigarettes was really bad for our health.
Even the deceptive packaging told us so. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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