Big Tobacco Found Guilty
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several tobacco companies were found guilty of deceptive business practices on Monday in a case brought by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which sought to be reimbursed for funds it allegedly spent on smoking-related costs, as a jury ruled th
In the case -- a third-party payor complaint on behalf of health care plans -- Blue Cross Blue Shield sought reimbursement of alleged smoking-related medical care costs that were incurred by health care plans. Blue Cross sued in a Brooklyn, N.Y. court for direct claims on their own behalf and on behalf of their subscribers.
All of the defendants except for British American Tobacco Plc were found guilty of deceptive business practices. The companies were ordered to pay Blue Cross Blue Shield either $17.8 million in direct liability or $11.8 million in non-direct liability, which would go to Blue Cross Blue Shield's subsidiary companies.
Other defendants in the case were Philip Morris Cos Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc.; British American Tobacco's Brown & Williamson unit; Lorillard Tobacco Co., a unit of Loews Corp.; and Liggett Group, a unit of Vector Group Ltd.
New York-based Philip Morris said its direct damages liability would be $6.75 million and its non-direct liability totals about $4.5 million.