A three-judge federal appeals panel has turned away a challenge from a defunct cigarette maker to a 1998 settlement among forty-six states and nineteen tobacco companies.
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday found that the settlement didn’t amount to a conspiracy by the government. Now-shuttered General Tobacco of Mayodan, North Carolina, had attacked the settlement as a conspiracy.
Judge Eric Clay wrote that General Tobacco waived multiple rights when it signed on to the settlement in 2004.
The Master Settlement Agreement ultimately prevented companies from being sued by state governments for the costs of health care for smokers, but required yearly payments to states and restrictions on advertising. The settlement protected cigarette wholesalers and retailers from liability.