Tobacco firms lost the battle to lower payments to nine states from the 1998 tobacco settlement.
The firms, which include Altria Group’s (MO) Philip Morris, Reynolds American’s (RAI) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard (LO), argued that at least 15 states had failed to collect their escrow payments in a timely manner. New York, Iowa, Ohio, Washington, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, North Dakota and Maine won their cases against the tobacco firms. New York will get $92 million, Ohio $35 million and Washington state $14.8 million due to the rulings. Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky and New Mexico didn’t win in their cases against the firms. Philip Morris, makers of Marlboro cigarettes, says that it will receive a $145 million credit due to the ruling. Figures for the other firms in the case are currently unknown. These rulings only affect payments made in 2003. A decision concerning payments from 2004 to 2012 has yet to be made, reports Reuters.
“Big tobacco companies contribute to the deaths of thousands of people every year, in large part by luring more and more young people onto cigarettes,” Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, told The Buffalo News. ”Finally, these companies will be required to reimburse the state for money spent treating New Yorkers made ill by their deadly product.”