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Four more states sue tobacco companies for money owed under 1998 settlement

[JURIST] Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and Ohio have joined California and New Jersey [JURIST report] in suing tobacco companies for money they say is owed under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) [text]. The Illinois attorney general says the state is owed almost $40 million [press release] and is suing to recover that money and to ensure that the state doesn't lose out on future money as well. The dispute arises from a provision of the settlement that allowed tobacco companies to reduce payments in response to lost business. Breakdowns in negotiations have led to the suits [AP report].

Maine filed suit [press release] seeking approximately $5.5 million for the same dispute [AP report]. Ohio is seeking $38 million [press release]. More states are also expected to file claims, including New York and Connecticut.

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