US top court upholds $270 million award to smokers
The US Supreme Court rejected an appeal request made by American tobacco companies on Monday in a class-action lawsuit that awarded 500,000 smokers a total of $270 million in damages.
Without comment, the highest US court dismissed the appeal of a 2009 Louisiana court decision that ruled the tobacco companies must pay hundreds of millions for programs to help the smokers quit.
The tobacco companies contested the lawsuit and argued that the class-action lawsuit brought together a number of disparate and individual complaints that spanned more than 50 years.
They said that by allowing the class-action suit, the companies were deprived of their right to investigate the individual plaintiffs and they could not all prove that they had suffered harm.
(c) 2011 AFP