State to get $2.6 million from tobacco settlement

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky will receive more than $2.6 million as its share of a $99 million multi-state settlement with cigarette manufacturer S&M Brands and equity shareholders to offset the liability associated with cigarette manufacturing, distribution, and sales.

The settlement reached between S&M Brands and nine attorneys general, along with MSA participating cigarette manufacturers concludes a lawsuit brought by S&M Brands against the state of North Carolina related to the cigarette manufacturer’s desire to reclaim deposits previously made, in accordance with state escrow statutes, for cigarette sales.

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Kentucky’s MSA escrow statutes, KRS 131.600 – 131.602, require non-participating manufacturers, like S&M Brands, to place funds in an escrow account each quarter based on the number of cigarettes sold in Kentucky as a safeguard against future liability for cigarette sales.

“This settlement provides $2.6 million to the Commonwealth based upon S&M Brand’s in-state sales,” said Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “I am grateful to Assistant Attorney General Michael Plumley for administering matters related to the MSA for our office and to National Association of Attorneys General Counsel Patricia Molteni for her work to assist us in upholding Kentucky’s MSA escrow statutes.”

Under the settlement, S&M Brands agreed to pay 30 percent of escrow principal to the states and 30 percent to MSA PM’s. Collectively, the states will receive $98,982,562.81, and Kentucky will receive $2,613,351.22.

Cameron was joined by attorneys general of Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia in the settlement. The multistate coalition was assisted by the National Association of Attorneys General in this case.