Court says RJ Reynolds Tobacco owes Minnesota millions

Published 7:16 am Saturday, September 28, 2019

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota court says R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has wrongfully failed to pay the state millions of dollars it owes under Minnesota’s landmark 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry.

The attorney general’s office says the court will enter a judgment in the coming months for the amount that Reynolds owes.

Attorney General Keith Ellison said late Thursday his office will be aggressive in making sure the state gets every dollar the tobacco companies owe.

Email newsletter signup

Reynolds merged with Lorrilard tobacco in 2015. As part of that merger, Reynolds transferred the KOOL, Maverick, Salem and Winston brands to ITG Brands, which was not part of the 1998 settlement. Reynolds then stopped including those brands in calculating its payments.

The court ruled that Reynolds is required under the settlement to continue making those payments.