Big Tobacco hails high court action
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday against hearing an appeal of the Illinois Supreme Court's overturning of a $10.1 billion judgment against Big Tobacco.

Philip Morris, a major U.S. cigarettemaker and unit of Altria Group Inc., immediately hailed the action of the high court in a news release.

"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denying certiorari in the Price case brings an end to the appeals process in this case," said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and associate general counsel. "The U.S. Supreme Court's decision leaves intact the Illinois Supreme Court's ruling that overturned the $10.1 billion trial court judgment.

"The company now will take the procedural steps necessary to obtain the return of its $6 billion note, which secured the judgment pending this final appeal, and have final judgment entered by the trial court in Madison County in favor of Philip Morris USA," Ohlemeyer said.

Altria stock was up 13 percent in midday trading.

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