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Minnesota Suits

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BUSINESS
March 4, 1998 | MYRON LEVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Philip Morris Chairman Geoffrey C. Bible, continuing his testimony Tuesday in a big tobacco trial here, was confronted with a blizzard of internal company memos concerning the narcotic effects of smoking, including one document that compared nicotine to morphine and cocaine, and described cigarettes as "nicotine delivery devices" along with nicotine patches and gum.
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BUSINESS
September 22, 1999 | EDMUND SANDERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
First Alliance Corp. has agreed to pay up to $550,000 to settle a consumer fraud complaint filed last year by the Minnesota attorney general's office, settling one of several pending lawsuits and investigations regarding the company's lending practices, officials said Tuesday. Irvine-based First Alliance will offer refunds to about 100 Minnesota borrowers, who were allegedly misled about what kind of loans they were receiving and how much they would pay in fees.
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BUSINESS
January 3, 1998 | Bloomberg News
Brown & Williamson, a unit of BAT Industries in Britain, paid a $100,000 fine imposed by a Minnesota judge for failing to turn over papers from its American Tobacco unit. In a letter with the check, Louisville-based Brown & Williamson said it isn't waiving its right to appeal the fine, which was ordered by Ramsey County District Court Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick. Brown & Williamson made the payment several days ahead of the court's 10-day deadline.
BUSINESS
May 5, 1998 | Times staff and wire reports
The tobacco industry has tentatively agreed to pay Minnesota between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle the state's lawsuit--but major stumbling blocks remained, sources said. Settlement talks between major tobacco companies, the state and its partner in the suits, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, have intensified in the last two weeks as the case has wound down. Barring a settlement, the case could go to the jury as early as Thursday.
NEWS
February 8, 1998 | MYRON LEVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When tobacco lawyers checked into their hotels for the state's anti-tobacco mega-trial, they were greeted by in-room copies of Minnesota Monthly with a beaming Jeanne Weigum on its cover. The magazine had named Weigum its 1997 Minnesotan of the Year, which must have given the tobacco folks pause. Unlike most people saluted in such a manner, Weigum is not an industrialist, philanthropist or cultural icon. She is a veteran anti-smoking activist.
BUSINESS
February 3, 1998 | Henry Weinstein
Over heated defense objections, portions of some of the most scathing articles ever published about the tobacco industry in a scholarly medical journal were read to the jury in the massive case filed against the nation's cigarette companies by the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota. Michael Ciresi, the lead plaintiff's attorney, read excerpts of a July 19, 1995, editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. and two related articles.
BUSINESS
April 15, 1998 | From Washington Post
Jurors in Minnesota's landmark suit against the tobacco industry Tuesday got their first glimpse of one of the 39,000 hotly contested company documents unsealed by the Supreme Court on April 6. The 1969 R.J. Reynolds memorandum discusses removing or declaring "invalidated" scientific research findings about tobacco that could prove damaging to the company in court.
BUSINESS
April 25, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A provocative memo describing how R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. lawyers suppressed research on the health hazards of smoking has been removed from a congressional Web site after company officials complained that it should not have been made public Wednesday.
BUSINESS
March 18, 1998 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Tobacco companies being sued in Minnesota must turn over 39,000 fiercely protected documents for use in the case against them, the state Court of Appeals ruled. The three-judge panel denied the companies' claim of attorney-client privilege for the documents, upholding a March 7 decision by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick. The court said the documents must be released by noon Thursday unless the Minnesota Supreme Court grants a stay. Robert Weber, an R.J.
BUSINESS
March 4, 1998 | From Associated Press
The head of Philip Morris Cos. on Tuesday said he was ashamed of the company's attempts to market its product to young people. During testimony in Minnesota's tobacco trial, Geoffrey Bible, chairman and chief executive of the nation's largest cigarette company, was shown a 1975 memo written by researcher Myron Johnston to Dr. R.B. Seligman.
BUSINESS
April 25, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A provocative memo describing how R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. lawyers suppressed research on the health hazards of smoking has been removed from a congressional Web site after company officials complained that it should not have been made public Wednesday.
BUSINESS
April 21, 1998 | From Bloomberg News
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. doesn't use its advertising to attract new smokers, let alone children, a company marketing executive testified Monday in Minnesota's $1.77-billion Medicaid trial against cigarette companies. Lynn Beasley, RJR executive vice president and architect of the company's controversial Joe Camel campaign, testified in an attempt to blunt the impact of documents introduced earlier showing that RJR discussed appealing to smokers as young as 14.
BUSINESS
April 15, 1998 | From Washington Post
Jurors in Minnesota's landmark suit against the tobacco industry Tuesday got their first glimpse of one of the 39,000 hotly contested company documents unsealed by the Supreme Court on April 6. The 1969 R.J. Reynolds memorandum discusses removing or declaring "invalidated" scientific research findings about tobacco that could prove damaging to the company in court.
BUSINESS
April 7, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for the release of 39,000 highly confidential tobacco industry documents that critics predicted will disclose a whole new level of dubious and perhaps illegal behavior by Big Tobacco over several decades.
BUSINESS
March 31, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
An R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. researcher, who has been a key witness in several lawsuits that the tobacco industry has won, testified Monday that a single charcoal-broiled steak contains the same amount of the toxic chemical benzopyrene as is found as in the smoke of 600 cigarettes. David E.
BUSINESS
March 26, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Using a strategy that has proved successful in the past, the tobacco industry this week launched its defense against Minnesota's massive lawsuit by calling a well-regarded historian, who told the jury that there had been widespread concern and considerable publicity about the health hazards of smoking for many years.
BUSINESS
January 10, 1998 | Henry Weinstein
Faced with the prospect of fines of $100,000 a day, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. turned over to plaintiffs' attorneys in Minneapolis 1,114 documents that a Minnesota judge had ordered the company to relinquish in the state's massive case against the tobacco industry. On Dec. 30, Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick ordered Louisville, Ky.-based B&W, the nation's No.
BUSINESS
May 5, 1998 | Times staff and wire reports
The tobacco industry has tentatively agreed to pay Minnesota between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle the state's lawsuit--but major stumbling blocks remained, sources said. Settlement talks between major tobacco companies, the state and its partner in the suits, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, have intensified in the last two weeks as the case has wound down. Barring a settlement, the case could go to the jury as early as Thursday.
BUSINESS
March 18, 1998 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Tobacco companies being sued in Minnesota must turn over 39,000 fiercely protected documents for use in the case against them, the state Court of Appeals ruled. The three-judge panel denied the companies' claim of attorney-client privilege for the documents, upholding a March 7 decision by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick. The court said the documents must be released by noon Thursday unless the Minnesota Supreme Court grants a stay. Robert Weber, an R.J.
NEWS
March 8, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
In a devastating defeat for the tobacco industry, a Minnesota judge Saturday ordered the nation's major cigarette companies to turn over 39,000 confidential documents that they waged a long, bitter and expensive battle to keep secret. The judge ruled that the papers show evidence of crime or fraud.
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