Minnesota Supreme Court derails tobacco lawsuit

The tobacco industry has had a tough time winning court cases in
Minnesota in recent years. It won one today, however, when the
Minnesota Supreme Court killed an 11-year-old lawsuit against Philip
Morris that claimed the company fraudulently marketed Marlboro Lights
as a safer cigarette.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals had resurrected the case in late 2010
after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 cleared the way for class
action suits against cigarette companies that manufacture "light"
cigarettes. The Appeals Court said Philip Morris could be sued for
false advertising, consumer fraud, and deceptive trade practices under
Minnesota consumer-protection statutes."

But today, the Minnesota Supreme Court said the suit, filed by a
private party, can't proceed because the 1998 tobacco trial
settlement, negotiated between then Attorney General "Skip" Humphrey's
office and Philip Morris, precludes it