Justices refuse to consider suit against Minnesota's tobacco fee

3:19 PM, Feb 20, 2007   |    comments
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider a lawsuit by Philip Morris against Minnesota alleging the state's 75-cent per pack health impact fee violates a contract with the cigarette company. Lower courts had struck down the health impact fee on cigaraettes imposed by the Minnesota legislature. Under an earlier 1998 settlement, tobacco companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Minnesota as reimbursement for the state's health care costs attributable to tobacco. The agreement releases the company from all future claims and liabilities imposed by the state. In asking the Supreme Court to take the case, Philip Morris said a Minnesota Supreme Court decision against the company violates nearly 130 years of U.S. Supreme Court case law on contracts.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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