Latin Suits Dismissed
MIAMI -- Cigarette maker Philip Morris Cos. Inc. said a Florida court had dismissed lawsuits by the governments of Venezuela and a Brazilian state that had attempted to recover healthcare costs. Philip Morris said that courts faced with claims by foreign states had determined that the injuries the states claimed to sustain were too remote to support a claim for damages. The Republic of Venezuela and the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo had brought the cases against major U.S. cigarette manufacturers, and a Florida state judge dismissed them, Philip Morris said. The dismissal is the third such ruling by U.S. courts in the past year against foreign governments looking to recover healthcare costs for smoking-related illnesses from U.S. cigarette makers.