The Arkansas Supreme Court
today affirmed Circuit Judge Timothy Fox's
certification of a class action
status in the lawsuit alleging Philip Morris
had deceived smokers with advertising for Marlboro Lights that suggested they were safer than regular cigarettes.
The tobacco giant said each claim should be filed individually. The suit seeks refunds for packs sold from 1979 to 2001, when Congress banned advertising about "low-tar" cigarettes.
The class potentially affected will be huge.
Justice Jo Hart
dissented in today's decision.
The majority opinion, by Justice Rhonda Wood, said a class action was a superior means to decide most of the plaintiffs' case, and that the class was "ascertainable."
Here's the opinion.