Arkansas Hearing on Marlboro Lights Set to Begin After a Decade of Delay

Oct 21, 2013


A lawsuit filed a decade ago against the tobacco company Phillip Morris USA is set to have its second hearing Tuesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman has details. 

The hearing, delayed for years over jurisdictional questions, is set to determine whether or not allegations against the tobacco company can be considered a class-action lawsuit. Plaintiffs are seeking to represent every Arkansan who smoked Marlboro Lights over a 38-year period.

They’re expected to argue Phillip Morris, a parent company of Marlboro, violated Arkansas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act by marketing “light” cigarettes as safer than regular cigarettes. Company documents pertaining to the issue are under question and some are classified as confidential and can only be viewed by lawyers in the case.

Since the lawsuit began nearly 10 years ago, Congress passed a law forbidding the use of the term “light” in marketing cigarettes.