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Tobacco Industry Suits

BUSINESS
December 21, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. asked a European court to declare that the European Commission lacked authority to file a lawsuit in U.S. courts alleging the company smuggled cigarettes into the European Union. The commission's suit, seeking unspecified financial damages, was filed Nov. 6 by in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y. It accused Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of depriving the EU of customs duties in a smuggling operation that began in the late 1970s.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2000 | IRENE GARCIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The city's Recreation and Parks Commission voted Wednesday to acquire the last chunk of property for a new, 3 1/2-acre park that is expected to be named Sepulveda Park West. The parcel, a quarter-acre lot, includes a 2,094-square-foot structure that once operated as a topless bar. The building, which has been abandoned for years, still has a large billboard advertising exotic dancers, cocktails and satellite-TV sports.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2000 | Associated Press
Whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand testified that cigarette maker Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. systematically altered and destroyed any internal document during the early 1990s that contradicted the industry's public "mantra" that cigarettes had not been proved to cause cancer. The testimony in a Brooklyn federal court came in a high-stakes civil case matching a trust for sick asbestos workers and their heirs against B&W, a unit of British American Tobacco and other tobacco giants.
NEWS
December 6, 2000 | From Reuters
In the first move of its kind in the country, a Silicon Valley county on Tuesday approved a plan to use money from the national settlement with the tobacco industry to guarantee health coverage for all uninsured children.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2000 | Reuters
A New York appeals court unanimously rejected the class-action certification of a group of smokers seeking damages from major cigarette makers for illnesses allegedly caused by smoking, Philip Morris Cos. said. The plaintiffs brought the suit against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a unit of British American Tobacco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2000 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
County officials filed a lawsuit late Monday in an effort to overturn a successful ballot measure that would force the county to spend millions of dollars over the next 25 years on health care rather than paying off government debt. The lawsuit, supported by three of the five supervisors, attacks the constitutionality of Measure H, which passed with 65% of the vote in the Nov. 7 election.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2000 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
British American Tobacco's Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. will have to pay a $750,000 award to an ill smoker after the Florida Supreme Court reversed an appeals court decision. Although the verdict is small compared with the record $145 billion a Miami jury award levied against Brown & Williamson and four other U.S. tobacco companies in July, Wednesday's decision marks the first time a tobacco award has been affirmed by a state's highest court. Louisville, Ky.
NEWS
November 22, 2000 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Orange County supervisors voted Tuesday to go to court to fight a ballot measure approved overwhelmingly by voters just two weeks ago, marking the second time this year the board has challenged the public will. Supervisors on a 3-2 vote expressed doubt of the constitutionality of Measure H, which was approved Nov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 2000 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Barely two weeks after Orange County voters said overwhelmingly that tobacco funds should go mostly for health care, the Board of Supervisors on Monday decided to consider spending this year's $28-million allotment to pay off government debt instead. Health care advocates were stunned. Supervisors previously voted to divide this year's share of the national tobacco settlement funds, with half going toward health care programs and the remainder toward paying down the county's bankruptcy debt.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2000 | WILLIAM MCQUILLEN, BLOOMBERG NEWS
A federal judge sent a $145-billion judgment against Philip Morris Cos. and other U.S. tobacco companies back to the same court that produced the verdict, removing the case from a forum the industry hoped would be friendlier to its cause, attorneys associated with the case said Sunday. U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages was scheduled to hear arguments in the case, brought by a group of 300,000 to 700,000 sick Florida smokers, on Tuesday.
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