Judge dismisses General Tobacco challenge to tobacco settlement..

January 12, 2009 - U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman has dismissed a challenge by General Tobacco (GT), the sixth-largest tobacco company in the U.S. and maker of GT-One brand cigarettes, to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the states and 19 tobacco product makers saying there's no legal basis for attacking the compact. October 30, 2008 - GT filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky., seeking more than $1 billion in damages. It also asked the court to stop states from penalizing the company for not making payments while the lawsuit was pending in U.S. District Court. The settlement separated participants into two camps — original participants and subsequent participants. General Tobacco, which was a latecomer to the settlement, said it is unfairly required to pay millions more because it signed on to the agreement later than 19 other companies.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman ruled Tuesday. January 6, 2009 that the lawsuit, brought by General Tobacco, failed on all fronts because the company couldn't prove the settlement amounted to either a conspiracy or anti-competitive behavior by the government.

Reference: Federal judge dismisses lawsuit challenging tobacco master settlement by BRETT BARROUQUERE - Associated Press Writer - Chicago Tribune, 1/6/2009; Likely ruling a blow to General Tobacco
Company expected to lose its suit for $1 billion damages
by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 12/12/2008.

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