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Press release from Business Wire

California Federal Court Rejects Medical Monitoring Class Action

Monday, April 18, 2011

California Federal Court Rejects Medical Monitoring Class Action16:31 EDT Monday, April 18, 2011 RICHMOND, Va. (Business Wire) -- Philip Morris USA (PM USA) said a federal judge today rejected a request by a group of California plaintiffs seeking class certification in a medical monitoring lawsuit saying that there was no reliable way to identify the class members. “This decision is absolutely consistent with existing law and the overwhelming majority of previous decisions denying class certification of smokers' medical monitoring claims,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. In its decision, the Court said the ruling was based on an inability to identify class members. Said the Court, “The question thus would come down to the state of mind of the putative class member, and it would be easy to fade in or out of the class depending on the outcome. The state of affairs is problematic for class certification, and none of the plaintiffs' arguments to the contrary are persuasive.” Garnick noted that a federal judge in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York dismissed a similar medical monitoring claim in New York (Caronia) in January and that these decisions should have significant influence on two other cases in which plaintiffs are seeking medical monitoring. The case is Xavier v. Philip Morris USA. Philip Morris USAMedia Relations804?484?8897