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BRIEFLY / TOBACCO

Tobacco Companies Win Union Fund Dismissal

October 05, 2000|Bloomberg News

Philip Morris Cos. and other U.S. tobacco companies won dismissal of a lawsuit by union trust funds that sought to recover money spent treating smoking-related illnesses, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. said. The Tennessee Court of Appeals agreed with the companies' argument that the harm suffered by the union funds was too far removed from the alleged wrong committed by the industry to permit damages, Brown & Williamson, a subsidiary of Britain-based British American Tobacco said. Though individual plaintiffs have met with some success suing the industry for damages, in only one case has a third-party complaint--such as one filed by a labor union--successfully made its way to trial. More than 100 union trust funds seeking up to $2 billion brought such a case to trial in Akron, Ohio, though a federal jury rejected their claims. In New York Stock Exchange trading, Philip Morris shares rose $1 to close at $31.06, R.J. Reynolds rose $1.44 to close at $33.75 and Loews Corp. fell 50 cents to close at $82.50.

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