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Supreme Court to hear $10B Phillip Morris appeal

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on a $10.1 billion class action verdict against cigarette giant Phillip Morris USA.

The court will hear the case Tuesday.

Last year, an appellate court reinstated a 2003 local verdict that Phillip Morris broke state law by marketing “light” and “low-tar” cigarettes as safer than others.

The Illinois high court initially ruled with the company, because federal rules allowed such marketing. A 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decree allowed for reconsideration of the Illinois case.

The plaintiffs asked Justice Lloyd Karmeier to recuse himself because they say he’s biased in favor of Phillip Morris. Karmeier refused and says he has no conflict.