Pennsylvania wins a round in tobacco settlement case

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 10, 2015 2:15 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania has won another round in its long-running legal battle over $126 million that the major tobacco companies are trying to recover.

A five-judge Commonwealth Court panel upheld a Philadelphia judge's ruling that overturned an arbitration panel's 2013 decision against the state.

The court says the arbitrators did not enforce the 1998 national tobacco settlement and miscalculated a $242 million reduction in Pennsylvania's share of the settlement money to reflect sales of tobacco products by competitors not covered by the settlement. The court says the figure should be less than half that.

Tad Berger, a state attorney involved in the case, says the ruling benefits taxpayers who pay the health-care costs associated with tobacco use.

An attorney for the tobacco companies says they've not decided whether to appeal.

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