A federal judge is asking the Justice Department and America's largest cigarette makers whether to delay a decision in a 12-year-old lawsuit against the tobacco industry while other cases challenging new tobacco regulations are decided.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington on Thursday ordered the parties to submit their views in the case in which the companies were found to have concealed the dangers of smoking for decades.
Earlier this year, the government proposed corrective statements that it says the companies should be required to make as part of the lawsuit. It also wants the industry to pay for self-critical ads.
Also pending are two unrelated lawsuits challenging marketing restrictions and new cigarette warning labels the Food and Drug Administration has proposed under new authority it gained in 2009.