EU Renews Suit Against Two Tobacco Firms
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union renewed its legal attack on two U.S. tobacco companies on Monday, just a month after a U.S. judge threw out a previous EU lawsuit over alleged cigarette smuggling to evade taxes on technical grounds
The European Commission said it had filed a new civil lawsuit against Philip Morris and entities of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holding in the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of the European Community and 10 member states.
A U.S. judge last month dismissed a previous EU lawsuit, filed in November 2000, ruling that the European Community -- the plaintiff in the case -- had not been injured.
The Commission decided to refile the lawsuit together with member states which had suffered a loss of revenue.
``Protecting the financial interests of the European Union and fighting fraud remains a top priority for the European Commission,'' the EU's executive said in a statement.