Jury lets Philip Morris off the hook for CT screening of smokers

Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris USA does not have to pay for annual low-dose lung cancer CT screening for healthy smokers of Marlboro cigarettes, a Massachusetts federal jury has decided on Wednesday.

The jury rejected the claims of the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit because they didn’t prove that the cigarettes were defectively designed, according to a report from the Connecticut Post.

Philip Morris cannot be held accountable for the cost of screening healthy individuals, the jury said, rejecting plaintiff's arguments that the company deliberately sold a defective product, according to the article.

Philip Morris' attorneys argued that there was no safer alternative to the product Philip Morris sold because consumers rejected the low-tar alternatives the company promoted heavily in the 1980s.

Annual low-dose CT lung cancer screening costs about $500 per scan.

The case was the third medical-monitoring case to be decided in favor of Philip Morris, the attorneys noted.

The judge indicated she will decide whether there was a violation of Massachusetts consumer protection laws, according to the report.