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Pending lawsuits against the tobacco industry

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Analysts predict the verdict in Florida will spur further class-action lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies already face the following court challenges:

Other class actions: A class of smokers in Louisiana is suing the tobacco industry for reimbursement for the costs of doctors' visits and quitting smoking. That case is scheduled to go to trial in January. Pending class-action suits in Arizona and Illinois accuse cigarette companies of marketing "light" cigarettes as healthier than regular cigarettes even though tobacco executives knew they were just as dangerous.

Insurers: Several health insurers, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and the Healthcare Association of New York State, are suing tobacco companies for the costs of treating people with smoking-related illnesses.

U.S. government: The Justice Department filed suit in September to recover the cost to federal health-care programs of treating smoking-related illnesses.

Foreign governments: Several countries have filed suit in U.S. courts seeking reimbursement for national health care expenses. A case filed by Guatemala was thrown out in December, but cases from Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Panama, Ukraine and the Canadian province of Ontario are pending.

Foreign class-action: Lawyers have filed lawsuits against the industry on behalf of citizens in Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey.

Farmers: Some 4,000 tobacco farmers filed an antitrust suit against cigarette makers in February, accusing them of conspiring to reduce their purchases of tobacco from farmers, undermining the federal quota system that maintained the price of tobacco by regulating the amount grown. Nearly 2,000 additional plaintiffs were added in May.

Consumers: At least two class-action lawsuits accusing tobacco companies of conspiring to fix cigarette prices are pending in New York and California courts.

American Indians: Several tribes are suing the tobacco industry, claiming they were unfairly excluded from the settlement reached by the states. They also contend that tobacco companies deliberately targeted Indians, who smoke more than other American ethnic groups.