Tobacco suit dismissed
July 10, 2001: 4:20 p.m. ET

Judge sides with Philip Morris in smoker suit brought in South Carolina
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - A federal judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit charging Philip Morris with failing to provide adequate warning about the health effects of smoking, resulting in a woman's death from lung cancer.

The decision comes a month after a Los Angeles jury ordered the world's biggest cigarette maker to pay $3 billion to a man in a similar suit, making it the largest verdict ever awarded an individual.

Judge Michael Patrick Duffy of the U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C., dismissed the suit by Donald LaBelle, on grounds that he failed to provide enough evidence to show Philip Morris (MO: up $1.11 to $46.30, Research, Estimates) was responsible for the death of his wife, Christine, four years ago from lung cancer at age 41, the company said.

"We are pleased Judge Duffy agreed with us that this lawsuit was without merit," Philip Morris Vice President and General Counsel William Ohlemeyer said.

Other defendants named in the suit, Liggett Group, Liggett Myers and the Brooke Group, settled with LaBelle on July 5, a court spokeswoman said.

LaBelle's suit argued that the cigarettes could have been made safer through a different design and more prominent health warnings. graphic


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Philip Morris

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