Philip Morris hoeft geen 12 miljard te betalen

In de rechtszaak in Illinois tegen Philip Morris werd recent de gigantische boete van 12 miljard dollar toegekend vanwege zogenaamde misleiding van het publiek bij het op de markt brengen van de Mild sigaretten. De fabrikant gaf na de uitspraak aan zich failliet te laten verklaren als deze eis zou worden ingewilligd. De Amerikaanse staten vreesden voor hun inkomsten uit de Master Settlement Agreement als deze gigantische eis zou worden toegekend.

Een hogere rechter heeft gisteren het bedrag, hangende een beroep, substantieel teruggegebracht tot een slordige $800 miljoen dollar.

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Byron today reduced the size of the bond that Philip Morris USA must provide in order to obtain a stay of execution of the judgment while the Price case is on appeal.

Judge Byron ordered an appeal bond secured by $800 million in cash payable in four equal quarterly installments of $200 million beginning September 2003, and a preexisting $6 billion long-term note to be placed in escrow pending the resolution of the case.

“This is an onerous but viable solution to this issue. It will allow Philip Morris USA to exercise its constitutional right to appeal, and to make this year’s payment under the Master Settlement Agreement with the states,” said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and associate general counsel.  “We look forward to promptly beginning our appeal on the merits of this case.”

At issue was the company’s ability to obtain a $12 billion bond Judge Byron ordered last month pending Philip Morris USA’s appeal of the $10.1 billion judgment in the “lights” class action case, formerly known as the Miles case. The company had said it could not post a bond that large. 

In addition, the company had said it was uncertain whether it would be able to meet its $2.6 billion payment due April 15 as part of its Master Settlement Agreement with the states without relief from the $12 billion bonding requirement.  The company said today that it will make its payment on schedule.

Persverklaring Philip Morris

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