In a major victory for tobacco companies, a Manhattan appellate court Thursday reversed a 73-year-old lung cancer victim’s $3.4 million compensatory damage award against two industry giants and threw out $17.1 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris USA.

The Appellate Division, 1st Department, held in a 3-2 opinion that Norma Rose failed to prove that Brown & Williamson Holdings and Philip Morris negligently designed cigarettes by continuing to market a product with higher levels of tar and nicotine than so-called “light cigarettes.”

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