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<p>Following is a statement by CSE President Paul Beckner on the Madison County Circuit Court Decision in the case of Philip Morris vs. Miles, et al:
"This is nothing more than another hand out to a group of greedy trial lawyers who make a living by exploiting the legal system in order to line their pockets. This is exactly the kind of frivolous lawsuit that hurts American pocketbooks and American businesses and perverts our legal system.
"A group of trial lawyers took a claim with absolutely no legal merit and found a known 'plaintiff-friendly' court that was almost certain to rule in their favor.
"Suing tobacco companies has become a cash cow for trial lawyers and states. These lawyers hit the jackpot in Madison County, where class action filings have increased nearly 1,850 percent over the last few years. The plaintiff attorneys in this case stand to collect almost $1.8 billion in fees. The state of Illinois will receive $3 billion in punitive damages."