Friday, June 10, 2005
The Federal Case Against Big Tobacco Is Melting
First the Feds were hoping to get Big Tobacco to "disgorge" oh, $280 billion. The trial judge was cool with that, but the appeals court felt differently. Remedies could only be forward looking, they said; but this could still lead to a big payout, in helping current smokers to quit and aiding future smokers, too. The current smokers alone might have been worth more than $100 billion. But then a curious thing happened: despite the favorable trial judge ruling on the original $280 billion, the government chose to cut back its goal unilaterally: now they are talking $10 billion to help future smokers quit: current smokers must turn elsewhere. You don't think that the government changed its mind because it didn't want to risk putting a big dent in Big Tobacco, do you? Even the trial judge thought something was up.
Thanks to Overlawyered for the link to the Hit and Run post.