A legal challenge to the 1998 nationwide tobacco settlement has failed, with a federal judge dismissing a lawsuit filed by a North Carolina based tobacco company that claimed the deal between states and the industry stifled competition.
The Legal Newsline reported Jan. 6 that U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman said that General Tobacco waived its rights to challenge the deal when it signed the agreement. The firm claimed that the payments made to states under the settlement helped bigger tobacco companies maintain their market dominance.
“Accepting as true all of the plaintiff's allegations, no fact emerges that changes the voluntary, intelligent, and knowing nature of the plaintiff's waiver,” wrote Coffman in her decision.
Nineteen tobacco firms were named in the suit, and General Tobacco was seeking $1 billion in damages.