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R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY PLEASED WITH NEW JERSEY COURT RULING

 R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY PLEASED WITH NEW JERSEY COURT RULING
 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A New Jersey Third Circuit court decision today that overturned an earlier ruling accusing the tobacco industry of "crime fraud" was "the decision we hoped for and expected," said R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
 Today's unanimous ruling by the Third Circuit court overturns a February 1992 decision by Judge Lee Sarokin that had accused U.S. cigarette manufacturers of engaging in a fraud by not making public smoking and health research. The appeals court said that the tobacco industry had not been given the opportunity to present its case and remanded the case back to the District Court for rehearing.
 Further, the Third Circuit court also removed Judge Sarokin from the case, finding that his earlier opinion gave the appearance of bias against the industry.
 "In order for the defendants to get a fair hearing, it was necessary for the manufacturers to have their case fully examined by an impartial judge," R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. said in a statement. "The Third Circuit judges agreed with us, and found that we had not had that opportunity up to now. We look forward to presenting our side of this case before a new judge, and believe that we will be able to clearly demonstrate that this industry has not engaged in any fraudulent activity."
 -0- 9/8/92
 /CONTACT: David Fishel, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 919-741-7654/ CO: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ST: North Carolina IN: TOB SU:


JZ -- CH003 -- 7054 09/08/92 13:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1992
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