Judge declares mistrial in $700M tobacco lawsuit

By JIM SALTER | October 25, 2011 | 5:50 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The lead lawyer in a Missouri lawsuit against cigarette maker Philip Morris USA says he'll try the case again after a judge declared a mistrial.

The jury was in a fifth day of deliberations and deadlocked on the $700 million, class-action lawsuit when St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael David District ended the proceedings Tuesday. The lawsuit claims Philip Morris misled Missouri smokers into believing that cigarettes labeled as "light" were safer than regular cigarettes.

Attorney Stephen Swedlow (SWEHD'-low) says he'll take the case to trial again. The jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of the plaintiffs, and Swedlow points out it only takes nine jurors to return a civil verdict in Missouri. He says he'll work harder to convince a ninth juror in the retrial.