A $45 million settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Philip Morris USA Inc. about, among other things, whether Marlboro Lights and Marlboro Ultra Lights cigarettes were deceptively advertised, marketed and sold as healthier to smoke than regular cigarettes. Provost Umphrey attorneys Joe J. Fisher II, Guy Fisher and Michael Hamilton served as plaintiff’s counsel alongside attorneys from Thrash Law Firm PA, Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas LLP, Lovelace & Associates, Barnow & Associates PC, Don Barrett PA and Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman PLLC.
The 2003 Arkansas suit alleged the tobacco giant violated Arkansas law by advertising Marlboro Lights as a safer alternative when there was no clear benefit to smoking light cigarettes as opposed to “full flavor” brands. In fact, light cigarettes can be more harmful by compelling smokers to ingest a greater quantity of cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine craving, the suit alleged.
The settlement includes all persons who purchased Marlboro Light or Marlboro Ultra Light cigarettes in the state of Arkansas for personal consumption from November 1, 1971 through June 22, 2010. It is anticipated that the class could contain over 300,000 members.
“This settlement will go a long way in compensating those who smoked Marlboro Lights under the impression they were less harmful than other cigarettes. We believe this case has been resolved in the best interest of the class,” said Guy Fisher.
In addition to the cash benefits to the class, plaintiffs claim to have benefited the class through the litigation activity, publicity and public awareness, which helped result in the removal of Marlboro Lights and Marlboro Ultra Lights from the market.
Class members can easily file a claim online at www.MarlboroLightsClass.com. Class members may also download a claim form from the website or call the toll-free number or request a claim form be mailed to them. Claims must be filed online no later than midnight Central Time on December 1, 2016. Claim forms sent by mail must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2016. For more information on the settlement and claims, visit www.marlborolightsclass.com