A D.C. federal judge ruled Thursday that cigarette makers violated racketeering laws, deceiving the public about the health hazards of smoking, but said she couldn't order them to pay the billions of dollars the government had sought, due to an appeals court ruling that said remedies must be forward-looking, rather than penalties for past actions. However, the companies -- except for one, Liggett Group -- were ordered to pay the government's cost for pursuing the suit, estimated to top $140 million.
Federal Judge Rules Tobacco Firms Deceived Smokers and Violated Racketeering Laws
The Associated Press
August 18, 2006