Tobacco’s Big 4 Negotiating with Justice Dept. to Avoid Supreme Court Ruling on Health Fraud

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tobacco companies have been secretly meeting with the Department of Justice to convince government lawyers to settle the landmark lawsuit first brought against the industry in the 1990s. According to the Associated Press, lawyers for Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, British American Tobacco Investments and Lorillard Tobacco have only until February 19 to keep the case from going to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Justice attorneys will seek the restoration of billion-dollar penalties that lower courts blocked.

Tobacco companies lost a ruling in May 2009 that upheld U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler’s finding three years earlier that the industry committed fraud while concealing the dangers of smoking for decades. Although the four big tobacco firms, which control 90% of U.S. cigarette market, want to appeal that decision, they may have to forego this effort as part of any out-of-court settlement reached with the government.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Tobacco's Plea — No Big US Payments (by Pete Yost, Associated Press)
United States v. Tobacco Industry (U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia) (pdf)


Blue Collar Worker 14 years ago
This is just the government trying to get more money from hated companies, nevermind the fact that this will only cause more job losses. We all know that the cigarette companies will be replaced by foreign competitors when they are taken down. People are still going to smoke.

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