The Great Tobacco Robbery, 15 years later

by Walter Olson on October 18, 2013

Fifteen years after the $246 billion tobacco settlement, an ingenuous National Public Radio retrospective wonders where all the money went, if not to smoking-reduction programs and Medicaid. Absent from the piece, as indications where some of the money went, are phrases like “lawyers’ pockets” or “political contributions,” or names like “Dickie Scruggs.” Speaking of the latter, the Supreme Court has refused to hear the disbarred Mississippi attorney’s appeal of his corruption conviction. AP, reporting this development, calls Scruggs “the architect of the multibillion dollar tobacco lawsuits of the 1990s.”

{ 2 comments }

1 gasman 10.18.13 at 12:34 pm

lots of money, but the tobacco industry did the math. They chose to pre-pay all potential future liability claims in a fixed payment schedule that they could easily work into their business model. In exchange they get virtual blanket immunity forever from any further pesky legal claims.
Smart business move for the industry. As for the states, did anyone really think that governments ever spend wisely?

2 Dwight Brown 10.18.13 at 2:49 pm

It fills my little coal black heart with delight that NPR mentioned the “American Legacy Foundation”.

ALF is behind thetruth.com. You know, the people who do the anti-smoking television ads that are so annoying, every time I see one I want to take up smoking just to spite them?

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