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Wed February 22, 2012
Landmark Tobacco Decision Upheld
A federal appeals court says the landmark 1998 national settlement between 46 states and 19 tobacco companies is valid and doesn't amount to a government conspiracy or anti-competitive behavior. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected claims from General Tobacco, a now-shuttered North Carolina company, that it was misled into taking part in the agreement in 2004. The company effectively shut down five years later. The Master Settlement Agreement ultimately prevented state governments from suing companies for smokers' healthcare costs, but required a combination of yearly payments to states and advertising restrictions. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says the state has received $1.39 billion from the agreement since 1998.