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Tobacco Lawsuit Hearing Friday

(Washington-AP) -- Another tobacco showdown is looming. A federal judge in Washington D-C is set to hear tobacco company arguments Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the federal government. The suit seeks billions of dollars from the tobacco companies to help repay the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. But cigarette makers argue the government has no legal claim under federal law to recover the money spent by Medicare and other federal programs. The Clinton administration is urging the judge to keep the case alive, arguing that the cigarette companies pose a continuing threat to the American public's health. Lawyers representing the Justice Department will also be at the hearing.
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