TEXAS – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that major tobacco companies have reached a settlement agreement that will award the state of Texas $195 million.
The lawsuit came from the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreement, by which major tobacco companies must make annual payments to Texas to reimburse it for smoking-related health care costs, according to a release.
In 2015, ITG Brands LLC acquired four cigarette brands from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company -- Kool, Maverick, Salem, and Winston -- but neither company made the required settlement payments related to those brands after the sale, according to the release. Because of this, ITG Brands agreed to pay $195 million in back payments owed to the state of Texas going forward, according to a release.
“I am very pleased with the resolution to this hard-fought lawsuit. Texas taxpayers are owed substantial back payments, and we will not allow any company to shirk their obligations to the people of this state,” Paxton said. “I will continue to enforce the law – and we will never back down from a fight in order to bring justice to hard-working Texans.”