A unanimous New York State Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that insurers may not sue tobacco companies for deceptive practices to recover damages for smoking-related health care payments. The court held that the injured party must actually bring the suit, not a third-party payor like an insurance company. The present case was brought by Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and had resulted in a $17.8 million jury verdict in federal court against the tobacco industry. Tuesday's ruling removes the basis for the suit, putting in danger the original award and others like it won by Empire. Read the opinion [PDF]. AP has the more.