Judge approves $29.1M payout for cigarette lawsuit

A Pulaski County Circuit judge approved paying $29.1 million from a lawsuit settlement fund to more than 21,000 Marlboro Lights users and their attorneys.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the $45 million settlement fund was set up to end a 13-year-old lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris USA and parent company Altria Group misled smokers in Arkansas by advertising Marlboro Lights and Ultra-Lights were safer than regular cigarettes.

Anyone in the state who bought the Lights brands between November 1971 and June 2010 was entitled to a share of the money regardless of whether they ever resided in Arkansas. About $18.1 million will go to more than 13,000 applicants. The judge also approved a payment of $10 million to the lawyers who have been working on the case since 2003.


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