A class-action lawsuit charging major tobacco companies and a public relations firm with a "decades-long campaign of deceptive advertising and misleading statements" can proceed, ruled the California Supreme Court. The suit is being brought against cigarette makers Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard, and the PR firm Hill & Knowlton. The suit was originally filed in 1997, but changes to California's class-action requirements put its status in question. The recent ruling affirms that the case can proceed as a class-action suit, with "only a handful of plaintiffs leading the suit" required to "show proof of damage and deception, not all plaintiffs in the suit."
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