A Madison County judge has taken a request to reinstate a multi-billion dollar judgement against a tobacco company under advisement. Attorney Steven Tillery of St. Louis has requested Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth approve the motion that could bring back a class-action lawsuit against Phillip Morris over the labeling of "light" cigarettes. The original suit was dismissed by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2006.
Ruth heard arguments from both sides in the potential case for most of the day on Tuesday, and said he would need more time to study the request before issuing a decision and did not put a deadline on when he would make one. At issue, according to Tillery, is what he called new evidence from a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Case that could have affected the outcome of his class action suit. An attorney for Phillip Morris argued that the case has been settled and there was nothing new unveiled in previous court cases. The original suit against the tobacco giant ended with a ruling of $10.1 billion in favor of plaintiffs in the suit, by now retired Judge Nicholas Byron in 2003. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Madison County ruling in 2005, and the case was dismissed in 2006 after failing to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.