Supreme Court allows lawsuit against Altria to proceed

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The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a legal blow Altria Group and the tobacco industry Monday by ruling that tobacco companies can be sued for marketing “light cigarettes.”

The 5-4 ruling allows a lawsuit against Altria by a Maine consumers group to proceed. The group argues that labeling cigarettes “light” was a deceptive advertising practice to make them appear safer.

Altria argued that federal labeling laws preempted state laws, but the court’s decision said the company was not protected from the lawsuit under the federal labeling regulations. The court did not rule on merits of the case against Altria.

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