TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced an enforcement motion Jan. 18 against TG Brands LLC, formerly known as Lignum-2 LLC (ITG), and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) to enforce the explicit terms of the tobacco settlement agreement dated Aug. 25, 1997.


Under the 1997 settlement, the involved tobacco companies agreed to annual payments of several hundred million dollars to be made in perpetuity. The payments, as per the settlement agreement, are to compensate Florida for health expenses that arise from citizens’ consumption of cigarettes sold by the defendants.


RJR sold three iconic cigarette brands – Winston, Kool and Salem – to ITG for $7 billion. The company, however, refused to include the sale of these brands when making annual payments to the state. ITG, for its part, also refused payments even after assuming payment obligations for the brands after buying them from RJR. Bondi’s office alleges both companies are liable for millions of dollars of missed payments.


“The sale of major, pre-existing tobacco brands to another company for billions of dollars does not cause the payment obligations to vanish like a puff of smoke,” Bondi said. “I look forward to the state obtaining prompt relief.”

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