Frequently Asked Questions

 

The following are “Frequently Asked Questions” about the settlement.

If you do not find an answer to your question here:

  • You can contact the Settlement Administrator by email here, by phone at (844) 836-3605 or by mail at:
    Massachusetts Marlboro Lights Settlement
    c/o Analytics
    P.O. Box 2003
    Chanhassen, MN 55317-2003
  • You can contact Class Counsel by email here, by phone at (800) 287-8119 or by mail to:
    Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP
    2 Seaport Lane
    Boston, MA 02210
  • Documents such as the Settlement Agreement can be found by clicking here
What is this case about?

Following a five week trial in late 2015, the Court found that by using the words “lights” and “lowered tar and nicotine” on packages of Marlboro Lights, Philip Morris engaged in willful violations of the Massachusetts consumer protection laws because it knew that in fact

  • Marlboro Lights were no less harmful or safer than Regular Marlboros; and
  • The vast majority of addicted smokers did not get less tar and nicotine from Marlboro Lights than from Regular Marlboros, because smokers changed the way they smoked Marlboro Lights to get as much or more tar and nicotine from Marlboro Lights as those same smokers would have gotten from Regular Marlboros.

The Court awarded the Class damages in the statutory amount of $25 per class member, or a total of $4,942,500 for the estimated 197,700 Class members, plus prejudgment interest of $10,331,315.

Philip Morris continues to deny any liability in this case.

Who is a Class Member?

You are a class member if during any portion of the time period from November 25, 1994 to November 25, 1998, you were (a) a resident of Massachusetts who purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Massachusetts, or (b) a resident of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont who regularly purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Massachusetts.

How much will I get from the settlement?

Philip Morris agreed to pay the Class the full amount of the judgment and interest that was awarded by the Court after the trial, which totals $15,273,815.

Class members who submitted valid and timely Claim Forms have been mailed payment on March 13th, 2017 in the amount of $225.00.

What are my legal rights and options?

If you are a member of the Class who filed a valid claim on or before November 28, 2016, you were mailed a check for your share of the settlement fund, known as the Class Recovery. If you did nothing and did not file a claim form or if your claim form was not valid, you will not receive any part of the Class Recovery.

What happened at the hearing on September 29, 2016?

The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on September 29, 2016, at 2:00 pm in Courtroom 1309 at Suffolk Superior Court, 3 Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108. At the hearing, the Court determined that the Settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate; approved payment of $25,000 service awards to each of the Plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit; and approved Class Counsel’ request for attorneys’ fees and expenses to be paid by Philip Morris.

When will I receive my check?

All class members who submitted valid and timely Claim Forms were mailed payment on March 13th, 2017. If you believe you submitted a valid claim form and you have not received payment, please contact the Settlement Administrator by email here or by phone at (844) 836-3605.

What should I do if I move or change my contact information?

If you are a class member who has moved since you filed your claim, you should provide the Settlement Administrator with your new address, either by mail or by calling toll-free (844) 836-3605.

Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Class members are represented by the Boston Law Firm, Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP. They are known as Class Counsel. There is no cost to you for their services in this lawsuit.

If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How much were the lawyers paid?

Since the beginning of this case more than 17 years ago, Class Counsel did not receive any payment for any of the legal services they have provided to the Class or any reimbursement of any of the out-of-pocket expenses they have incurred in the case.

The Court approved Philip Morris’ agreement to pay the lawyers $16,500,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses, over and above the recovery for the Class.

You will not be personally charged for any portion of the legal fees or expenses that Class Counsel received for their work on the case.

The attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court will not reduce the Class Recovery, since they were paid separately by Philip Morris.

Will this Settlement prevent me from bringing other claims against Philip Morris?

Class members are prevented from bringing any further claims against Philip Morris (or its affiliated companies or their officers, directors or employees) for economic damages related to the Class members’ purchases of Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Massachusetts.

Nothing in the Settlement, or the judgment, will prevent Class members from pursuing any other claims against any such entity or person, including claims for personal injury, addiction, or any other health-related damage resulting from smoking.

What if I have more questions?

If you have more questions, please go to the Case Documents page to review the court documents or call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at (844) 836-3605.

Please do not write or call Court for information.