Big Tobacco and New York State's Latest Attempt to Destroy the Free Market Halted by District Court Injunction

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Big Tobacco and New York StateÂ?s attempt to impose the de-facto Big Tobacco monopoly through the Tobacco Settlement Agreement is halted by court-ordered injunction, thereby protecting the rights of independent tobacco producers/distributors.

New York, like many of the 46 states party the Master Settlement Agreement (“Tobacco Settlement”) has recently attempted to drastically alter the terms of the Tobacco Settlement in order to further their stealth partnership with Big Tobacco and bolster the already established de-facto Big Tobacco monopoly through this Tobacco Settlement.

The original and current terms of the Tobacco Settlement provide for substantial refunds to independent tobacco producers/distributors a.k.a. “Non-Participating Members” (“NPMs”) of payments, which each NPM is required to make to an escrow account to any participating state in which the NPM does business (“Allocable Share Release Provision”).

The Court in Freedom Holdings, Inc. v. Spitzer (02 Civ. 2939 (AKH)), stated that “the repeal of the Allocable Share Release Provision […], took away the NPM’s reversionary right to escrow payments beyond the rights or needs of particular states[…].”The Court issued the injunction by concluding that “This evidence suggests, therefore, that plaintiffs, and other NPMs on whose behalf they also bring suit, are likely to be caused – and in some cases appear already to have been caused – irreparable injury stemming from the repeal of the Allocable Share Release provision.”

This ruling has triggered the filing or impending filing of law suits across the country by NPMs who plan to challenge other states’ similar attempts to destroy the NPM’s ability to compete in the free marketplace by denying them the Tobacco Settlement mandated refund from each states respective “Allocable Share” Payments.

StatesOnTheTake.com was the first web site to obtain and publish the September 12th, 2003 “Privileged and Confidential” Memo by the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) that brought to light the ongoing collusive partnership between state governments and Big Tobacco.

To read the Freedom Holdings, Inc. v. Spitzer opinion in its entirety, and learn more about this Tobacco Settlement litigation and other Tobacco MSA matters, visit http://www.StatesOnTheTake.com

Contact:

S. George Alfonso

(214) 350-5584

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Marc Harty
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