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Tobacco chiefs sell shares in their own company

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 30 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1153
  1. Phillip Wilbur
  1. Arlington, Virginia

    An adverse ruling for the tobacco industry in a Florida lawsuit last week sent tobacco stock prices reeling, but Philip Morris executives may have seen this coming a few months ago.

    On 20 October a panel of three judges unanimously agreed that Philip Morris Companies and other defendants in the Engle v R J Reynolds class action lawsuit must face punitive damages in one lump sum instead of on a “case by case basis”. The damages, which could exceed $300bn (£187bn), are to be awarded as a result of last July's verdict holding the companies liable for between 500000 and one …

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