(KMOV) – On Tuesday, a Missouri judge declared a mistrial in a lawsuit against Philip Morris concerning the perceived safety of light cigarettes.
The case pitted smokers against tobacco giant Philip Morris. Damages would have amounted to $700 million, and anyone in Missouri who smoked Marlboro Lights cigarettes would have been eligible for thousands of dollars.
It took 11 years for the case to get a jury. The trial was held to determine if Philip Morris should pay up for deceiving smokers.
The smokers who filed the suit say the company intentionally manipulated the design and content of Marlboro Lights to maximize nicotine delivery while falsely claiming lowered tar and nicotine.
Philip Morris attorneys argue even the health care industry believed light cigarettes were the better option if you had to smoke.
The cigarettes are no longer for sale, but from 1996 to 2002, 700 million packs were sold in Missouri. The court estimates damages at $1 per pack, which could mean a $2,500 settlement for a pack-a-day smoker.
This suit was a class-action suit, which meant anyone who smoked the brand could have qualify for damage pay.
Hardly anyone expected the case to end with a jury verdict, but on Tuesday, a Missouri judge declared the case a mistrial. The reason or reasons for the judges decision have not been made public.