It could be another rough session for


(MO) - Get Report

after a bid to limit the size of the bond it needs to put up in order to appeal a huge legal penalty came to an end in the Illinois Legislature.

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A committee in the state senate rejected a bill that would have capped the size of the bond at a little over $1 billion. The tobacco company still has until April 20 to appeal the court verdict, in which it was ordered to pay $10 billion for misleading smokers about the harmfulness of "light" cigarettes.

Altria's Philip Morris USA unit is expected to appeal both the award and the bond requirement to the state's Fifth District Court of Appeals. Credit rating agencies have warned that if forced to produce the bond, the company could face a bankruptcy filing.

The shares were recently down 2.2% to $29.05.