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Scalia gives Big Tobacco $270 million reprieve

Sep 14, 2010 2:07:00 PM - thestate.com
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has temporarily blocked a state court order requiring tobacco companies to pay $270 million for a smoking cessation program in Louisiana.

Scalia granted a request from the companies on Tuesday, but said he would reconsider his order later this month after hearing from Louisiana plaintiffs who won a class-action lawsuit against the cigarette makers.

The companies lost their bid in state court to throw out the award or at least delay the payment. They want the high court to throw out the judgment against them and relieve them of having to pay out the money while the case is being appealed.