Judge Orders Re-figuring of Missouri Tobacco Loss
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A new ruling by a state judge could reduce the amount of money Missouri is losing because of its lackluster enforcement of a legal settlement with tobacco companies.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards ruled Friday that an arbitration panel wrongly calculated the amount of settlement payments Missouri should lose for failing to diligently enforce the settlement terms in 2003.
A previous decision by arbitration panel had reduced Missouri's $130 million payment this year by about $70 million.
Missouri's penalty was enhanced because about 20 states that also had been accused of not diligently enforcing the original settlement reached a subsequent settlement with tobacco companies that avoided arbitration.
Edwards said Missouri's share of the penalty should be recalculated with those other states factored into the equation.