To use some soccer terminology, this week’s Supreme Court decision on a landmark tobacco racketeering case was a draw. The high court’s refusal to review the case denied the government’s bid to get more money out of the industry, but also effectively upheld a lower court’s decision that the tobacco industry intentionally deceived the public about the health effects of smoking.
The Wall Street Journal reported June 28 that the decision ends a decade-long attempt to get the industry to disgorge $280 billion in ill-gotten profits and pay $10 billion for smoking-cessation programs. However, it also upheld the legal foundation for stricter industry regulation and provides ammunition for other lawsuits against the industry.
The stock markets declared the decision a win for tobacco companies, with stock prices rising after the news broke.