In a lively and complex Gordian Knot of an argument before a federal appeals court on Tuesday, lawyers for the nation’s largest tobacco companies wrangled with attorneys for a woman whose husband died of lung cancer over whether factual findings in a 2006 Florida state case may be applied in some 4,000 federal death and injury suits.

The arguments, which went far longer than the 15 minutes allotted per side, focused primarily on whether plaintiffs going forward with individual suits in federal court would have to relitigate matters decided by the 2006 state court jury in Florida. Some of those findings include: tobacco companies falsified statements and made cigarettes that were dangerous.

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