Most of the class action tobacco suits focus on the diseases it causes. But a suit in federal court in Philadelphia adds a new twist: It’s a consumer suit brought by Pennsylvania purchasers of snuff and chewing tobacco who complain that the leading manufacturer used its monopoly power to drive up prices.
In the suit, Hunt v. United States Tobacco Co., the plaintiffs are seeking to capitalize on a massive verdict against the nation’s No. 1 snuff maker, in which a Kentucky federal court jury awarded $350 million to rival Conwood Co. — an award that was automatically trebled to $1.05 billion and later upheld by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
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