The filing contends that payments from some tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., were siphoned to a third party.Other companies, including Phillip Morris USA, paid the full amount they owed, but also claimed the right to offset future payments owed to the states because of market share loss, the lawsuit said. And several smaller tobacco manufacturers completely withheld the funds due last month, the filing said.
The tobacco manufacturers had argued that they shouldn’t have to pay the full tab because they lost business to rival companies not saddled with the settlement.
Thurbert Baker, the state’s attorney general, contended that the companies lost market share because they raised prices “beyond any price increase rationally related to the payment of damages under the 1998 settlement agreement.”
The state has received $141 million of the $160 million settlement funds due last month, Willard said.
The tobacco companies have to live to their agreement. However, I’ve not liked this situation from the beginning. I don’t smoke, and think it’s repulsive, but it’s a legal product. If you don’t like it don’t do it, and if it’s such a danger to the public then let’s ban it, but what the Government has done is tax it, then extort huge sums of money from the companies, and now their suing again – in an election year. This doesn’t pass the smell test Mr. Baker.
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