Washington The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court Friday to allow the government to seek nearly $300 billion from the tobacco industry for a half-century of deception that “has cost the lives and damaged the health of untold millions of Americans.”
Both sides in a landmark, decade-long legal fight over smoking took their case to the high court Friday.
The administration, joined by public health groups, wants the court to throw out rulings that bar the government from collecting $280 billion of past tobacco profits or $14 billion for a national campaign to curb smoking.
Leading tobacco companies accounting for 90 percent of U.S. cigarette sales want the justices to wipe away court holdings that the industry illegally concealed the dangers of cigarette smoking. If they succeed, the attack on their profits also would be halted.