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    Philip Morris Appeals Verdict

    Tobacco company denies wrongdoing in billion-dollar case.

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Philip Morris USA, ordered to pay $10.1 billion for tricking Illinois smokers into believing light cigarettes are less harmful than regular ones, appealed the verdict to the Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday, reported The Idaho Statesman.

    Philip Morris claims the trial court never should have granted class-action status to the case, which led to the first consumer-fraud trial in the nation to focus on light cigarettes, the report stated.

    The company also says it obeyed federal law when it labeled its cigarettes with the Surgeon General's warning against tobacco products, and charges the $10.1-billion verdict was arbitrary and excessive, according to the Statesman.

    "We've presented a very compelling argument about why this judgment should be set aside," said William Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris's vice president and associate general counsel, the newspaper reported.

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