Checks were mailed to eligible class members on March 13th, 2017.
Plaintiffs brought this class action lawsuit against Philip Morris USA in 1998, claiming that Philip Morris violated the Massachusetts consumer protection law by falsely representing that Marlboro Lights were less harmful and delivered lower tar and nicotine than Regular Marlboros, when that was not the case.
The Court has allowed this case to proceed as a class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons, who during any portion of the time period from November 25, 1994 to November 25, 1998, were residents of Massachusetts who purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Massachusetts, or residents of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont who regularly purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Massachusetts.
Following a five week trial, the Court found that Philip Morris violated the Massachusetts consumer protection law, and awarded the Class statutory damages and interest.
In April, 2016, the parties reached a settlement of this case under which Philip Morris will pay both the full amount of statutory damages and interest awarded by the Court, and the attorneys’ fees and expenses of attorneys representing the Class.
The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on September 29, 2016. At the hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate; whether the Court should approve payment of service awards to each of the Plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit; and whether the Court should approve Class Counsel’ request for attorneys’ fees and expenses to be paid by Philip Morris. The Court approved the Settlement, the service awards and Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses at the hearing. On September 30, 2016, the Court entered the Final Order and Judgment.