Supreme Court hearing case against Philip Morris

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on a lawsuit to determine whether tobacco companies can be sued in state courts over misleading advertising about light cigarettes.

Three smokers in Maine brought a lawsuit against Richmond cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris USA and its parent company, Altria, for advertising low-tar and low-nicotine products as less harmful than normal cigarettes. Philip Morris argues that federal law shields it from state lawsuits.

Conservative justices suggested that the problem lies with government regulators. In similar recent cases, the Supreme Court has sided with companies. (The Washington Post)

-Mars Inc. has completed its $23 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. The McLean-based Mars, which manufactures famous candy brands M&Ms and Snickers, will move its non-chocolate brands, such as Skittles and Starburst, to the Wrigley subsidiary.  Wrigley’s headquarters will remain in Chicago. Wrigley shareholders approved the deal in September.

-An economic development official with the Tulsa, Okla., chamber of commerce will become the next president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. Darryl Gosnell, who has been senior vice president of economic development at the Tulsa chamber, will begin on Oct. 27. (The Virginian-Pilot

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