CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2007 |
Amid budget shortfalls, the Los Angeles Police Department has sparked controversy by asking Philip Morris USA to donate $50,000 to help pay for an investigation into counterfeiting of its cigarettes. In a letter to the company, Police Chief William J. Bratton said the department was requesting the funds to help defray the costs of an ongoing investigation into the "illicit manufacture, transport, distribution or sale of Philip Morris USA products." The LAPD would be in control of the probe.
September 1, 2004 |
The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to let it pursue a $280-billion racketeering claim against Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American Inc. and other U.S. cigarette makers. U.S. racketeering laws permit the forfeiture or "disgorgement" of profits that the industry allegedly made from selling cigarettes to people who started smoking as children, government lawyers argued in papers filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
April 17, 2003 |
Altria Group Inc. said profit fell for a second consecutive quarter as U.S. sales tumbled and the company spent more on promotions to win back smokers from lower-priced brands. Net income dropped 7.6% to $2.19 billion, or $1.07 a share, in the first quarter, from $2.37 billion, or $1.09, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 5.7% to $19.4 billion, while volume sales of cigarettes by its Philip Morris USA unit slumped 16%. Shares of Altria fell 75 cents to $31.70 on the NYSE.
April 11, 2003 |
The Illinois Senate adjourned until Tuesday without reconsidering a bill to reduce a $12-billion bond that Philip Morris USA was ordered to post to appeal a state court ruling. The cigarette maker, a unit of Altria Group Inc., has said it can't afford to pay the bond, due April 21, and that it could be forced to file for bankruptcy protection and default on a $2.5-billion payment due in five days to states under a 1998 settlement. Illinois Judge Nicholas Byron, who ordered the bond in a $10.
December 2, 2004 |
A Minnesota judge will permit smokers in that state to collectively sue Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA over claims involving the company's light cigarettes. Minnesota District Judge Allen Oleisky said the claims, based on Minnesota consumer protection laws, may be tried together. Philip Morris, the biggest U.S. cigarette maker, will appeal the decision, a spokesman said. The smokers claim that New York-based Philip Morris misled them about the health risks of Marlboro Lights.
April 29, 2004 |
Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc., won a California Supreme Court review of a $9-million punitive damage award to a sick smoker that has already been reduced twice. The California Supreme Court set aside the award and will review whether the amount is appropriate. Patricia Henley, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, had been awarded $50 million in punitive damages in 1999.
April 5, 2005 |
A California appeals court reaffirmed its decision that ordered Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA to pay $50 million to the family of a smoker who died of lung cancer. In September, the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles reduced a trial award to $50 million from $100 million. Both sides asked the court for a rehearing. On Friday the court reiterated its decision, provided that Richard Boeken's family agreed to accept the $50-million award.
September 16, 2004 |
A Missouri judge will allow a case over Marlboro Lights against Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA to proceed as a class action, but has placed limitations on those who can participate in the case. Circuit Court Judge Michael David in St. Louis limited those eligible to join to Missouri residents who purchased and smoked Marlboro Lights cigarettes from Nov. 9, 1995, five years before the original filing of the suit, through Dec. 31, 2003.