Debate and Issues Index

draft settlement

Upcoming Deadlines for Attorneys General Deal

Bill Godshall offers the following:

While the tobacco industry & AG public relations campaign has fooled many into thinking that their Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is already a done deal, the AGs and tobacco companies are fully aware that many more processes must occur before the deal can become final.

In fact, the MSA anticipates that many parties will challenge the agreement in many state courts, and the MSA specifies what will occur depending upon the outcome of those challenges.

The following appear to be key dates or deadlines

Master Settlement Agreement Execution Date (11/23/98)

Deadline for AGs & tobacco industry to move that the state court stay all proceedings of the state suit against the released parties (before 12/3/98). Section XIII (a)

Deadline for AGs & tobacco industry to give the MSA to the state court, request its approval and issue a consent decree (before 12/11/98). Section XII (b)

State Specific Finality (after all appeals to consent decrees are exhausted by all courts, resulting in court approval of the deal). This date will differ in each state depending upon court procedures, judicial discretion, challenges, court decisions, appeals, etc. Section II (ss)

Final Approval (6/30/00) or when 80% of states and 80% of allocable state shares achieve State Specific Finality. Section II (u)

Please note that no state will receive any money until after the Final Approval date. Section XI (g)

Termination (12/31/01) if State Specific Finality hasn't yet occurred.