Philip Morris, Others Win Verdict Over Hospitals

Philip Morris and other major tobacco companies won a lawsuit Friday filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers.

Cigarette in ashtray
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Cigarette in ashtray

Philip Morris was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit. The case was filed as the City of St. Louis v. American Tobacco Co.

The hospitals had claimed cigarette companies delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product. They were seeking reimbursement back to 1993 for treating sick smokers who had no insurance and did not pay their bills.

A call to the attorney representing the hospitals, Kenneth Brostron, was not immediately returned.

"The jury agreed with Philip Morris that ordinary cigarettes are not negligently designed or defective," Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, said in a statement.

Other details of the verdict handed down by the St. Louis jury weren't immediately available.

Philip Morris is owned by Altria Group , which is based in Richmond, Va. Get real-time Altria quotes here.