MINNESOTA Tobacco Documents News

MINNESOTA Tobacco Documents News


Note: These articles wink in and out of existence with the frequency of sub-atomic particles. Many links will be dead. In that case, these pages can be approached as bibliographies, both noting the event, and showing where you might look for further information.

  • 05/12/98 CONSENT JUDGEMENT from Judge Fitzpatrick
      After a four year legal battle with the tobacco industry, Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III and Andy Czajkowski, CEO of co-plaintiff Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, today announced a historic agreement that requires the industry to pay $6.1 billion to the State of Minnesota and imposes the strongest ban in the nation against marketing cigarettes to children. The landmark agreement requires disclosure of secret tobacco documents, unprecedented reform of the industry, closure of the tobacco research and propaganda arm, the Council for Tobacco Research, and first-in-the-nation bans on tobacco branded merchandise and secret payments for using cigarettes in movies.
  • 05/08/98 REALAUDIO: "They have surrendered and they have surrendered on our terms" WCCO-TV
  • AUDIO FILES from Ch. 4000

  • 06/02/98 Tobacco on Trial History of the trial from July 13, 1996 to May 18, 1998, with linked stories. From Ch. 4000 MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
  • TRANSCRIPTS: Minnesota v. Tobacco
  • MORE TRANSCRIPTS are being posted by the Putnam Pit First Amendment Center Is the timely release of our court and legislative documents for the rich, or corporate entities only? Or do they belong to the people whose government it is? The dirty little secret about the sale and trade of the records of our own government's proceedings like pork belly futures. Here's the letter threatening legal action and here's the Putnam Pit's response
  • 01/30/98 Released Documents Page None posted yet.

  • 04/22/98 39,000 TOBACCO DOCUMENTS House Commerce Site
  • 05/21/98 39,000 Documents on CD $1500. Rios Computer PR
  • 04/24/98 Sampler of the 39,000 documents
  • 04/28/98 Tobacco Documents Subpoenaed by the House Committee on Commerce Mirror site from STIC. Better organized, faster downloads than Bliley's site; full index available, too.
  • 04/28/98 Minnesota Documents from STIC
  • 04/24/98 Docuents sorted by Chronology
  • 01/22/98 An Update on Minnesota's Tobacco Litigation on Eve of Trial
  • 01/22/98 Office of the Attorney General Litigation News Update Links to newspaper articles.
  • 02/11/98 HOT QUOTES from Minnesota's Tobacco Trial
  • Trial Transcripts SUSPENDED! All the below transcript links are DEAD. How's that for a free and open society?
      Because of contractual issues with the court reporter, we are unable to provide unlimited access to the transcripts.
  • 01/12/98 Orders by Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick [NEW LINK] The State of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota vs. Philip Morris Inc., et al Case File #62-C1-94-008565

  • 12/20/97 843 Minnesota Documents

  • Minnesota Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tobacco WebSite

  • 01/21/98 Minnesota Tobacco Litigation from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Features include web links, archives, chat, a daily briefing and a nice Trial Guide St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/22/98 Tobacco on Trial from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Stories, a WWII + timeline, plus a trial timeline, trial details, web links, bulletin board.
  • If You're Going . . . Courtroom schedule, upcoming witnesses, procedure for seating from the Minnesota court system
  • 02/20/98 If you want to go . . . Short precis from Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

  • 11/14/97 Tobacco Industry "Considering" Document Request Reuters
  • 11/14/97 Rep. BLILEY, Long a Tobacco Ally, Demands Industry Disclosure of Documents Washington Post
      Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), one of tobacco's strongest foes, commended Bliley. "I think he was genuinely determined to get these documents," Waxman said after the hearing. "I don't see an ulterior motive. . . . I think he is sincere and genuine."
  • 11/14/97 In Apparent Shift, Tobacco Defender Seeks Industry Documents The New York Times
  • 11/14/97 A Shift in Debate on Tobacco Deal NY Newsday
  • 11/14/97 BLILEY Talks Tough on Tobacco Richmond Times-Dispatch
      Rep. Thomas J. Bliley Jr., chairman of the House Commerce Committee and an unlikely inquisitor of the tobacco industry, demanded yesterday that tobacco companies turn over certain secret internal documents or face the threat of a subpoena. A Richmond Republican, Bliley has defended the tobacco industry for years. . . A letter yesterday from Bliley to Geoffrey Bible, chairman of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., asked for the company to turn over by Dec. 4 those 864 documents that a Minnesota court official has determined were improperly shielded by attorney-client privilege claims. If the documents aren't turned over, "I will consider issuing a subpoena on Dec. 5," Bliley added in the letter.
  • 11/14/97 Tobacco Ally Demands Industry Papers LA Times
      Both J. Phil Carlton, a North Carolina lawyer who represented the industry in negotiations leading up to the settlement, and Lance Morgan, a Washington spokesman for the companies, said they would not comment until they had received a formal written request for the documents from Bliley. Tobacco analyst Gary Black of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York dismissed Bliley's move as an attempt to publicly establish his independence from the industry. "It's a way of making yourself look tough," Black said. "This is the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt--speak loudly and carry a little stick." Another analyst said Bliley's action is a sign of how much tobacco's fortunes have eroded in Congress.
  • 11/14/97 Rep. Demands Secret Tobacco Papers AP Washington Post
  • 11/13/97 House Chairman Wants Tobacco Documents Disclosed Reuters
      Thomas Bliley, a Virginia Republican, said the industry must disclose the documents that a Minnesota court official has concluded are not protected through attorney-client privilege because they have evidence about crime and fraud. Those documents, a small part of a huge trove of papers amassed during litigation, are part of ongoing judicial proceedings in Minnesota and have not been made public. "If the tobacco industry engaged in criminal or fraudulent activities, then Congress has a right -- a duty -- to know before legislation is enacted granting that industry any form of immunity against lawsuits," Bliley said as he opened the first House hearings on the proposed tobacco settlement.
  • 11/15/97 EDITORIAL: Mr. BLILEY's Tobacco Demands Washington Post
      "We deserve to know the full extent of the industry's knowledge of the health risks associated with tobacco use," he said. "We need to know the full extent of the industry's knowledge about marketing appeals to children. We need to know whether the tobacco industry engaged in activities to hide this information from the American people." The tobacco companies have never come clean on these questions. The real surprise would be if they even begin to do so in response to Chairman Bliley's pertinent demands.

  • 11/18/97 DOCUMENT: BLILEY Letter Demanding Secret Documents ASH
  • 12/05/97 House Panel Head Subpoenas Documents of Tobacco Firms The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
  • 12/05/97 House Panel Subpoenas TOBACCO Industry Documents The New York Times
  • 12/04/97 Tobacco Firms Mum as Documents Deadline Passes Reuters
  • 12/04/97 Tobacco Companies "Still Considering" Documents Reuters
      Spokesman Scott Williams denied news reports saying that the industry had decided not to comply with the demand and had informed House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley that he would have to subpoena them. "The companies are still reviewing and considering the request," Williams told Reuters.
  • 11/29/97 Tobacco Papers May Be Withheld Bloomberg/NY Newsday
      Cigarette makers plan to wait until Thursday's deadline to answer a congressional request for documents and may decide to resist . . . The cigarette companies probably will tell Bliley that to release the documents would compromise the companies' ability to defend themselves in the upcoming Minnesota trial and other cases, said the industry representatives . . . Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch has refused to subpoena the documents
    Here's a longer version of the article: Tobacco Insiders Plan is to Stall Giving Up Papers Dallas Morning News
  • 12/05/97 BLILEY Demands Tobacco Secrets Shrewd Political Move, or is He Fed Up? Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 12/05/97 Tobacco Papers Demanded Winston-Salem Journal
  • 12/05/97 Hill Tobacco Friend Toughens Stance Washington Post
      Bliley's seeming turnaround mystifies many observers on Capitol Hill and leaves others skeptical. . . Yet relations between the powerful congressman and the industry have been increasingly tense. The chairman has expressed frustration that a tobacco settlement proposed last summer did not address the concerns of such groups as retailers, according to one Bliley adviser, and he wanted to send a signal to the industry that it will face compromises ahead. Other sources say Bliley wants the documents released so that lawmakers will not be blindsided by tobacco revelations coming out after a bill passes.
  • 12/05/97 HOUSE Subpoenas Cig Makers AP Washington Post
  • 12/05/97 Congressman Issues Subpoenas to Cigarette Firms LA Times
  • 12/05/97 Congressman Subpoenas Tobacco Documents Reuters
      But a Bliley aide said UST will not be subpoenaed because it is not part of the Minnesota case. . . Two Democratic Senators, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, wrote Bliley a letter this week praising him but also asked him to broaden his requesst to get many other industry documents that the senators wrote could shed light "on the manipulation of nicotine and other health issues the companies have hidden from the public."
  • 12/04/97 BLILEY Subpoenas Cigarette Makers AP Washington Post
      "I am going to make sure these documents see the light of day," Bliley, R-Va., said in a statement. "Congress is going to get these documents, and I'm not going to tolerate unnecessary delays in obtaining them." "If the tobacco industry engaged in criminal or fraudulent activities, then Congress needs to know about these activities before we consider granting the industry unprecedented immunity from future lawsuits," he said. A Bliley aide confirmed that the subpoenas were being served late Thursday to four cigarette makers: Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard Inc. Bliley said he was giving the companies until noon Friday to comply
  • 12/06/97 Tobacco Industry Delivers Documents to Congress Washington Post
      Matthew L. Myers, of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, said he hoped that Bliley's comments were not an indication that the documents would be kept private. "It's as important for the American public to see these documents as for Congress -- so that the citizens of the country can make an informed decision about what Congress should do," Myers said.
  • 12/06/97 Tobacco Firms Hand Over Documents St. Paul Pioneer Press
      But lawyers battling the tobacco industry warned that the two boxes of documents submitted to Rep. Tom Bliley, R-Va., in Washington, represent only a fraction of the confidential papers shielded by tobacco industry lawyers. "The smoking guns are trickling out, but the smoking howitzers remain under lock and key," Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said, referring to 250,000 additional industry documents being sought in court. The 834 documents submitted to Bliley include scientific research papers, memos and reports.
  • 12/06/97 Cig Makers Surrender Documents to Congress The New York Times
  • 12/06/97 Tobacco Firms Yield Crucial Documents Dallas Morning News
      Many experts said the nation's four top tobacco firms were placing a high-stakes bet: Releasing the papers could hurt their chances in pending state lawsuits. But it also could speed approval of a $368.5 billion deal, now before Congress, that would settle all such lawsuits. "These were documents that were going to come out anyway," said Calvert Crary, a legal analyst with Auerbach, Pollak & Richardson in Stamford, Conn. "So I think the industry is just trying to get political mileage out of it."
  • 12/05/97 Tobacco Industry Turns over Documents to Congress Reuters
  • 12/05/97 Tobacco Cos Say They Had No Choice on Papers Reuters
      The four companies each sent a separate cover letter to House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley, who Thursday night had subpoenaed more than 800 potentially damaging documents. The Virginia Republican gave the companies less than 24 hours to deliver the papers after they failed to meet an earlier deadline. Copies of the four letters were made available to Reuters. "Under these circumstances we have no choice but to comply with the subpoena," wrote Alfonso Carney, a Philip Morris Cos. Inc. (NYSE:MO - news) vice president.
  • 12/06/97 Tobacco Firms Hand over Secrets Richmond Times-Dispatch
      Minutes before a noon deadline, industry officials delivered two boxes of documents to the House Commerce Committee, which Bliley serves as chairman. . . . The cache's contents weren't revealed yesterday, but industry observers have said they contain information about joint scientific research and legal strategy, as well as studies of teen smoking.
  • 12/05/97 Cigarette Makers Release Records AP Washington Post
      The nation's largest cigarette makers ended a confrontation with a longtime congressional ally today by complying with subpoenas to release more than 800 documents that purportedly illustrate industry crime and fraud. . . Now, Bliley said he will establish "a bipartisan process for reviewing and disclosing the documents." "Congress has a right to examine these documents as part of its consideration of the proposed tobacco settlement, and today's development will give Congress the information it needs to make more informed and responsible decisions," he said in a statement.

  • 12/09/97 Committee Chairman to Release 800 Tobacco Industry Doucments Washington Post
      House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley, R-Va., promised Monday to release more than 800 sensitive tobacco company documents, probably before Christmas. Meanwhile, congressional hearings defused a debate about dividing tobacco settlement payoffs, after state and federal officials found they had little to fight about.
  • 12/09/97 Bliley Has Christmas Wish List For Data; Bipartisan Review To Start Immediately Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 12/09/97 Lawmaker: Tobacco Papers May Reveal Fraud Chicago Tribune
  • 12/09/97 Tobacco Papers May be Exposed Winston-Salem Journal
  • 12/09/97 Tobacco Industry Records to Be Released this Month AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Bliley said documents that his panel subpoenaed from Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown and Williamson and Lorillard Inc. will be made public after a bipartisan review. "I want to assure members of the committee and the American people that we will work as quickly as possible to make these documents available to the public," he said.
  • 12/08/97 Tobacco Papers May Be Public By Christmas Reuters
      "It is my intention to release all documents to the public," he said. "I expect that this will occur prior to Christmas," although he said that was a goal, not an absolute deadline.
  • 12/08/97 House Chairman to Release Documents to the Public AP/NandoNet
      "Now that the committee has obtained the documents, a process for bipartisan, committee review of the documents will begin," said Rep. Thomas Bliley, R-Va., chairman of a House Commerce health subcommittee. "When that process is completed, it is my intention to release all documents to the public," Bliley said, probably by Christmas.
  • 12/08/97 Tobacco Industry Faces Rift with its Congressional Ally The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      And as a subcommittee of Mr. Bliley's commerce panel begins hearings on the proposed settlement Monday, industry executives are left to wonder whether they can count on him in the long run to help protect their interests. The tobacco companies say they intended no offense. "From the industry's perspective, it was only a matter of timing and sequence," says industry spokesman Scott Williams. . . Mr. Bliley says he subpoenaed the documents because he is concerned that the proposed settlement grants the industry extensive legal protections without first forcing it to divulge secret documents.
  • 12/08/97 Hundreds of Secret Tobacco Industry Papers Released The New York Times
      The Minnesota court created 12 subject categories to review hundreds of Liggett Group documents. The 864 records deemed by the court to contain potentially damaging evidence fall into five of them. The categories include records about industry-sponsored research on the health effects of smoking performed either by company officials or consultants; records of research projects financed by industry lawyers or through industry trade organizations; documents reflecting public statements by companies on the risks of smoking, and documents reflecting industry activities aimed at youths under 18. . . Bliley has said that he would seek any other company records, along with the Liggett documents, deemed by the Minnesota court to contain possible evidence of wrongdoing.
  • 12/08/97 Bliley Expects to Make Tobacco Documents Public Before Christmas
  • Hearing Document: BLILEY Statement
  • 12/18/97 BLILEY Releases Tobacco Documents Today on the Internet House Commerce Committee Press Release
      "Today these documents will be available to everyone with access to the Internet," Chairman Bliley said. "I've said all along that it is important that Congress and the American people have the facts, and today they will have them."
  • 12/18/97 Longtime Tobacco Ally in Congress Challenges Industry Reuters
  • 12/19/97 Rep. Releases Confidential Tobacco Papers Reuters
  • 12/18/97 House Panel to Release Subpoenaed Tobacco Papers Bloomberg/Winston-Salem Journal
      The House Commerce Committee intends to make public more than 800 secret tobacco-company documents today, giving the public its first look at records the tobacco companies have been trying to keep under wraps for years. The decision to release the records came less than a day after a Minnesota judge ruled that the 834 documents -- which include research on nicotine and marketing to youth -- had been improperly shielded from disclosure when cigarette-makers said they were covered by attorney-client privilege.
  • 12/18/97 Tobacco Industry Statement on Release of Documents PR Newswire
      We continue to believe that continued controversy and confrontation serve no useful purpose and delay the inevitable need to implement a national tobacco policy. Those who believe 20 -- or 40 -- year old documents merit continuation of legal and regulatory hostilities in lieu of a national legislative solution fail to see what is at stake. We must learn from, but not be obsessed by, events past, and recognize the value of a comprehensive national policy and the promise it holds for the future. Only such a comprehensive settlement, agreed to by the tobacco companies, will result in meaningful, national progress with respect to a reduction in youth smoking and responsible regulation of the design, manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products.
  • 12/18/97 Release of Tobacco Documents Destroys Even Plausible Deniability, Says ASH ASH PR Newswire
      As the special master's report indicates, the documents show that the different cigarette makers cooperated with each other to a far great extent than previously believed, he stated. For example, the documents describe what is called the "mouse incident," in which Philip Morris ordered RJR to shut down some biological research which could have been embarrassing to the industry. . . There is also growing suspicion, says Banzhaf, that Philip Morris conspired with Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley, known as the "Congressman from Philip Morris," to orchestrate the release of the documents long before serious consideration of federal tobacco legislation begins, and in a form which makes it difficult for the media and others to appraise them. "Instead of releasing the documents in text form where they could be easily downloaded, searched for key words, and copied, Bliley posted digital pictures which are very slow to download, cannot then be searched, and which require special programs to handle," says Banzhaf. Banzhaf suggests that the media download a copy of the report of the special master from the Commerce Committee's Internet Web site or ASH's (http://ash.org) because it singles out and quotes from many of the most incriminating documents.

  • 12/18/97 Report: Tobacco Memo Admitted Risks AP Washington Post
      One of the world's largest cigarette companies considered admitting nearly 20 years ago that smoking causes disease, according to a report in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. considered breaking ranks with the industry in 1980 because denying a link between smoking and disease was "simply not believed," Special Master Mark Gehan wrote in a report made public Wednesday.
  • 12/18/97 Tobacco Documents Show `Conspiracy of Silence and Suppression,' Judge Says Washington Post
  • 12/18/97 New Evidence Against Tobacco Industry The New York Times
      "The industry is unable to argue satisfactorily for its own continued existence because all the arguments eventually lead back to the primary issue of causation, and on this point, our position is unacceptable," the 1980 B.A.T document stated, according to a report prepared by Mark W. Gehan, the court-appointed official. The judge ordered the report released late Tuesday after ruling that documents in the case showed that industry executives and their lawyers had engaged in a long-running "conspiracy of silence and suppression of scientific research" about the dangers of smoking.
  • 12/18/97 MINNESOTA: Special Master Questions Validity of Tobacco Research Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco industry research in the United States was coordinated by a group of cigarette manufacturers' attorneys with the intention of providing favorable results about smoking and health, a judicial officer in Ramsey County determined earlier this year. The report of Special Master Mark Gehan, unsealed Tuesday in the state of Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, said a "Committee of Counsel" selected research projects to bolster the industry's position that smoking did not cause disease. The research was for use in lawsuits, government testimony and public relations matters.
  • 12/18/97 Tobacco Documents Admissable in Court Dallas Morning News

  • 12/18/97 Tobacco Documents Ordered Released Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorneys for tobacco companies scrambled Wednesday to respond to a judge's order to release 800 industry documents to the state. . . Late Tuesday, Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick gave the companies five days to release the documents.
  • 12/18/97 Judge Demands Leaf Files Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 12/17/97 MINNESOTA: Judge Decries Tobacco Industry for their "Conspiracy of Silence St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Tobacco companies for decades used their lawyers to conceal smoking research, then engaged in "abuse and disregard for the judicial process" during a recent court-ordered review of the practice, a judge in St. Paul ruled Tuesday. The ruling by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick is a sweeping indictment of Big Tobacco's use of lawyer-client privilege to prevent disclosure of documents related to children, special research projects, science and other subjects. "The court's own review of the documents reveals a conspiracy of silence and suppression of scientific research," the judge wrote. In another rebuke to cigarette makers, Fitzpatrick concluded their lawyers violated court orders and abused the legal process during a special master's review of industry "privileged" documents this year.
  • 12/17/97 Judge Blasts Tobacco Industry for Privilege Claims Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      With sometimes scathing language, Ramsey District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick blasted the tobacco industry for improperly hiding sensitive documents behind attorney-client privilege claims and ordered the files' release to attorneys for the state of Minnesota.
  • 12/17/97 Judge Orders Tobacco Firms to Hand over Secret Papers LA Times
      "Did the defendants claim privilege for such material to create more of a 'haystack' in which to hide their 'needles?' Did they fail to conduct a review of the documents sufficient to make a good-faith claim of privilege in the first instance? Whatever the reason, claiming privilege where none even arguably exists constitutes abuse," Fitzpatrick wrote. "Moreover, a pattern of abuse taints the entire submission." Still to come is a decision by Gehan on 150,000 more documents that the companies are trying to keep secret.

  • 12/19/97 WHITE HOUSE Sees Tobacco Documents Boosting Its Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      'One of the principles the President articulated for a tobacco settlement was a full disclosure of documents relevant to an understanding of the issues,' said White House Spokesman Mike McCurry. 'The President believes the release of these documents adds further momentum to the effort to achieve the type of settlement he has suggested,' McCurry added. However, President Clinton has never fully defined how he views the issue of immunity for the tobacco industry, a key issue from the industry's point of view.
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Documents Detail Industry Strategy of Countering Science on Cancer Risks Washington Post
      While containing no dramatic new revelations, the huge cache of documents helps bring into focus a picture described by previously released documents: the industry's strategy to undercut a growing scientific consensus on the health risks of smoking, anti-tobacco activists said. "Not a single [document] is definitive in any single way," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), "but there's a pattern of very sophisticated, long-term efforts by the tobacco industry to find scientists who will cast doubt on the idea that smoking is dangerous, and to mislead the public."
  • 12/19/97 Release of Tobacco Memos Brings Lawmakers' Demand for More The New York Times
      A new debate over proposed federal tobacco legislation erupted in Congress Thursday after the release of hundreds of cigarette company documents . . . Here's the article at the Winston-Salem Journal, Documents Raise Settlement Questions
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Papers Posted on Internet Lexington (KY) Herald Leader
      The 847 documents show an industry under siege that turned to a core group of lawyers to coordinate a multilayered defense relying on science, public relations and political muscle. Here's the article at the St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 12/19/97 Web Strips Tobacco Giants of Secrecy Veil Chicago Tribune
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Papers Show Efforts to Sway Public Dallas Morning News
  • 12/19/97 Secret Papers Released Winston-Salem Journal
  • 12/19/97 BLILEY Releases Tobacco Documents Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 12/19/97 A Smoke Screen? NY Newsday
  • 12/19/97 BLILEY Releases Secret Tobacco Documents AllPolitics
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Papers Depict Manipulation of Research to Back Claims Chicago Tribune
  • 12/19/97 Congress Posts Tobacco Documents MSNBC
  • 12/19/97 Panel Releases Major Cache of Secret Tobacco Documents LA Times
  • 12/19/97 Newest Tobacco Documents Fuel Debate Washington Times
  • 12/19/97 DOCUMENTS DETAILS Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      What happened? The House Commerce Committee used the Internet to release more than 800 potentially sensitive tobacco industry documents gathered as part of Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. - Why now? . . .
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Documents Reveal Long Effort to Control Image Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Among the materials seen for the first time Thursday were: * A 1967 memo suggesting that celebrities such as the Monkees, the Supremes and John (sic) Unitas be hired to pitch smoking in television commercials because they are "persons who young people admire and respect."
  • 12/19/97 Tobacco Documents Put on Internet AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 12/19/97 Release of Tobacco Documents Could Hurt Case for Immunity The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Prominent Republicans, including Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain of Arizona predicted a thorough review of the documents before Congress takes any action. Various House and Senate panels will seek extensive testimony on the documents' "legal and policy ramifications during in-depth hearings early next year," Sen. McCain said. In a joint statement, the big tobacco companies declined to comment on the specifics of the documents, citing their position taken in court proceedings that the documents remain privileged. "It should also come as no surprise that the tobacco companies needed and sought advice of lawyers, given the adversarial environment of the last four decades," they added, noting that the issues raised in the documents "are not new."
  • 12/19/97 Pressure Mounts, Foes Say Richmond Times-Dispatch
      "Buried inside these documents are some of the most lethal hand grenades we've ever seen the industry throw at America's children," said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. and a leading tobacco foe. "What's so scary about the revelations is that these documents aren't even the ones that the industry is so afraid to release. Without releasing the remaining documents to Congress, the tobacco industry can kiss any form of their settlement goodbye," he added.
  • 12/19/97 Miss. AG Says Tobacco Documents 'Add Weight' To Litigation Dow Jones (pay registration)
      But he added that the 834 documents, disclosed over an Internet site, show no new "smoking gun" against cigarette manufacturers.

  • 12/23/97 Big Tobacco's Secrets Spill From an Unlikely Hill Source; Some See BLILEY Straining for Deal-Making Role Washington Post
      Releasing the companies' secrets on the World Wide Web gives the 65-year-old congressman a fresh image, said University of Virginia government professor Larry Sabato. It may allow him to discard the snide appellation tobacco foes pinned on him years ago, "the congressman from Philip Morris." It may realign his long relationship with Philip Morris: "Instead of the puppet, he his now the puppeteer," Sabato said. And it could give him the credibility to help broker a deal, not as tobacco's man in Congress, but as the leader of a powerful House committee.

  • 12/18/97 Web Disclosures on the Rise CNN
      The tobacco documents were painstakingly scanned by staff members, in their original form, directly onto the web site. By mid-day, more than 70,000 visitors had logged on to the site.
  • 12/20/97 Tobacco Documents Reveal Industry's Longtime Subterfuge Scripps Howard/NandoNet
  • 12/20/97 DOCUMENTS: Tobacco Firms Sought Scapegoats St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Lawyers for cigarette makers deliberately funneled research money into experiments designed to blame almost anything but smoking for lung cancer and other diseases, newly released industry documents show. The grant-handout strategy . . . steered money away from experimental work directly related to tobacco and health.
  • 12/20/97 Tobacco Documents Provide Roadmap to Debate, Litigation Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco industry documents released on the Internet this week provide a partial road map to the January trial in St. Paul where cigarette manufacturers will face allegations of fraud and deception.
  • 12/20/97 Tobacco Disclosure May Help Opponents Winston-Salem Journal
      "Where they run into trouble and where it becomes immoral is when they deny legitimate science, and they did that," Kluger said. "It was disinformation." What's important, he said, is to use any public outrage that comes from the new documents to push Congress to protect other smokers and those thinking about taking up smoking.
  • 12/20/97 NORTH CAROLINA: Tobacco Documents Include CARLTON Plan Raleigh News & Observer
      Buried among hundreds of secret tobacco industry documents released by Congress this week is one that sheds some light on Phil Carlton, the longtime pal of Gov. Jim Hunt who has been the cigarette manufacturers' point man in negotiations on a national smoking settlement. The 1983 document from Carlton to the president of the Tobacco Institute outlined plans to establish a "broad-based, grass-roots national membership organization which would provide a nationwide network of persons supportive of tobacco."
  • 12/20/97 EDITORIAL: Big Tobacco's Monkee Business San Francisco Chronicle
      Unlike the Monkees, whose TV reruns and nostalgia tours have kept them from totally fading out of pop culture, the tobacco industry's exploitative and deceptive tactics must never be allowed a comeback.

  • 12/24/97 Cig Makers Appeal Use of LIGGETT Documents Winston-Salem Journal
      The companies said that Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick of Ramsey County District Court violated their constitutional right to due process by reviewing only sample documents, then ordering entire categories to be turned over. The companies asked the appeals court to make Fitzpatrick review each document separately and follow that procedure in future fights over what documents are subject to the privilege that protects most communications between clients -- in this case , the tobacco companies -- and their attorneys.
  • 12/24/97 CORRECTION St. Paul Pioneer Press
      In an article Tuesday, the Associated Press erroneously reported that tobacco companies were granted a stay of a judge's order that they turn over more than 800 internal documents to plaintiffs in Minnesota's lawsuit against the industry. The companies sought time to appeal the order, maintaining the documents are privileged and should not be introduced at trial. The judge took no immediate action on their request.
  • 12/23/97 Judge Stays Document Release Order Pending Tobacco Appeal AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      A judge on Monday stayed his order that tobacco companies must turn over more than 800 internal documents to plaintiffs in Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit, saying the companies may first appeal his ruling. The cigarette makers said they expected to file their appeal today.

  • 12/29/97 Documents' Release May Have Hurt Big Tobacco's Chances In Congress
      By early last week, no one had found any "smoking guns" in the hundreds of tobacco industry documents posted on the Internet by the House Commerce Committee. . . "We believe that the documents once again help confirm the public's impression of the tobacco industry as a pariah and as being untrustworthy," said Ethan H. Siegal, president of the Washington Exchange, which provides political advice to institutional investors. . . "The public will read about the documents via the headlines and 200-300 word stories," he wrote. "And those stories will generally be ugly in nature and tone."

  • 12/28/97 Tobacco Lawyers' Role: Counsel or Coverup? Boston Globe
      "I can anticipate rulings which would leave us defeated by our own hand," Hardy wrote in a "confidential" memo in 1970, warning one of his tobacco clients, Brown & Williamson, that comments by researchers at its British sister company about the potential dangers of cigarettes might one day be prone to discovery in an American lawsuit. The day Hardy anticipated is here. But cigarette makers are not the only ones facing atonement because of the airing of industry documents.

  • 12/29/97 LIGGETT Documents Turned over for MINNESOTA Tobacco Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorneys preparing Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry now have official access to internal company documents that earlier were released on the Internet. . . "It's important to have (the document evidence) in some mode where they could introduce it, and this way they can," said Lee, who is not involved in the Minnesota case.

  • 12/27/97 OPINION: MINNESOTA: Counterpoint: Governor's Office Had Early Role in Tobacco Suit Gov. Arne Carlson, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      I have never suggested dropping the lawsuit. Why would we dedicate the hours of state time and money to a case that we wanted dropped? Rather, I have proposed participating in a national settlement in addition to pursuing the state's lawsuit. Let me say it again: we want to win the state's lawsuit. But no matter how many times we have emphasized this point, it goes ignored by the Star Tribune.

  • 12/26/97 HUMPHREY, State Center Stage in Tobacco Debate Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      But across the country, the Minnesota case is well known as Humphrey's lawsuit, mainly because of the independent, sometimes isolated stand he has taken against a once-popular out-of-court national settlement deemed insufficient by the Minnesota DFLer. The course to trial is unpredictable and the consequences significant if Humphrey is wrong. . . "That's a risk," Humphrey said of the possibility of losing in court. "It's like going to war. But even in the event of a loss, we have moved the ball substantially forward. We're not going to lose."
  • 01/01/98 American Subsidiary Of Bat Fined Over Tobacco Files Times of London
  • 12/31/97 Tobacco Firm In State Suit Faces Record Fine St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A St. Paul judge on Tuesday levied the largest sanction ever against a tobacco company, ordering the maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes to pay a $100,000 fine and to hand over 1,114 secret documents. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. of Louisville, Ky., also faces additional fines of $100,000 a day and crippling restrictions at trial if it doesn't comply with orders to produce other documents.
  • 12/31/97 Judge Imposes $100,000 Fine on Tobacco Co LA Times
      A Minnesota judge on Tuesday ordered Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. () to pay a $100,000 penalty for "flagrant" violations of pretrial discovery orders, a penalty believed to be the first court sanction against a U.S. tobacco company in decades of health-related litigation. The judge also threatened to issue a default judgment against the nation's third-largest cigarette manufacturer in Minnesota's massive case against the industry if the company fails to disclose potentially damaging documents.
  • 12/31/97 B&W Fined In State Tobacco Case Over Document Disclosure Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Fitzpatrick accused the companies, American Tobacco Co. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., which acquired American two years ago, of willful disregard of his order last May requiring the delivery of American Tobacco's records to the state and Blue Cross. The judge said the companies' response to his order was "incomplete, evasive, and lacking in good faith and due diligence." He said B&W's assertion that the records left American's control when it was acquired by B&W in 1994 was "highly suspect and disingenuous."
  • 12/30/97 Judge Fines Tobacco Cos over Papers Washington Post
      A judge fined Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. $100,000 on Tuesday for failing to turn over documents on smoking research . . . Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick ordered the company to turn over the documents within 10 days. He said the company would be fined an additional $100,000 a day if it did not produce the information by the deadline.

  • 12/31/97 Tobacco Companies Seek Clean Fight; They Ask Judge To Ban Name-calling, References To Books AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      [Besides The Runaway Jury, [t]he companies also want reference to several nonfiction books and publications excluded from the trial, including the books The Cigarette Papers, Ashes to Ashes, and Smokescreen, the Truth Behind the Tobacco In dustry Cover-up, and articles by Stanton Glantz, the author of The Cigarette Papers, published in a 1995 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Tobacco attorneys say that the publications are nonobjective hearsay based on documents stolen from a law firm representing Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. by a paralegal who tried to extort money from the tobacco company.
  • 12/31/97 BAT Co. Fined $100,000 Bloomberg/Winston-Salem Journal
  • 01/02/98 Lack Of Tobacco Documents Results In Contempt-fine Check St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The nation's third-largest cigarette maker says it will pay $100,000 today to the Ramsey County District Court clerk to satisfy a contempt-of-court fine imposed Tuesday by a St. Paul judge. In a letter to the judge, Jack Fribley, a Minneapolis attorney for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., said the New Year's holiday made it impossible to prepare the check earlier.
  • 01/04/98 Top Scientists Had Doubts on Research Richmond Times-Dispatch
      Philip Morris' top scientists in Richmond often questioned their company's spending on supposedly independent research into smoking and health, information released by the House Commerce Committee shows. . . The new information from Congress shows the company's scientists always understood the projects were controlled by industry lawyers.

  • 01/04/98 PHILIP MORRIS Tried to Rebut Smoking Dogs Study Richmond Times-Dispatch
      The "smoking dog" memos were among 13 documents found by The Times-Dispatch after a computer search of the ones that mention Philip Morris. The letters and reports cover a variety of legal, scientific and public relations problems. The papers show how the line between law and business often became blurred as Philip Morris, like other cigarette companies, tried to fend off attacks on smoking. During the "smoking dog" fracas of 1970, Smith, Philip Morris' legal chief at the time, discussed taking out a newspaper ad to counter the beagle research. He also prepared to dispense pro-industry information at a news conference. "The maximum cost of any media program that we are considering is approximately $500,000," Smith wrote colleagues at other cigarette companies.
  • 1/10/98 Tobacco Firm Complies With Order, Turns Over Papers In Minnesota AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The maker of Lucky Strike, Kool and other cigarettes have given Minnesota attorneys suing the tobacco industry two boxes of documents to comply with a judge's order.

  • 01/09/98 MINNESOTA: State Seeks Dismissal Of Liggett Group Lawsuit Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The state of Minnesota requested Thursday that its smoking-and-health lawsuit against Liggett Group Inc. be officially dismissed under terms of an out-of-court settlement agreed to last March.

  • 01/09/98 PROFILE: ROBERTA WALBURN: Lawyer on Paper Trail in State's Tobacco Suit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Among those chosen to brief presidential aides was a Minneapolis attorney who probably knows more cigarette company secrets than many people in the industry. The lawyer's name: Roberta Walburn. "She knows the stuff backward and forward," said Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III . . . "These cases are won or lost in discovery," said Bill Tilton, a St. Paul lawyer who has known Walburn for 20 years. "The tobacco case would go nowhere without Roberta Walburn doing the discovery. She is the one who has been in the trenches dealing with the other lawyers, dealing with the judge."

  • 01/12/98 For Tobacco, Truce or War Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 01/11/98 TEXAS, MINNESOTA: Tobacco Industry Faces State Trials
  • 01/12/98 Orders by Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick The State of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota vs. Philip Morris Inc., et al Case File #62-C1-94-008565
  • 843 Minnesota Documents on the House Commerce Committee site.

  • 01/12/98 Countdown to MINNESOTA Tobacco Trial; Stakes are High The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
  • 1/10/98 Tobacco Firm Turns Over Papers In Minnesota Suit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The nation's third-largest cigarette maker, hoping to avoid further contempt-of-court fines, on Friday handed over two boxes of sensitive documents to Minnesota attorneys suing the tobacco industry. . . "We are pulling out all the stops to comply fully with the court order," said Mark Smith, a spokesman for Brown & Williamson, maker of Lucky Strike, GPC and Kool cigarettes.

  • 01/17/98 Minnesota Sets Its Sights High In Tobacco Suit Chicago Tribune
      The state, charging the tobacco companies with "40 years of lies, fraud and conspiracy," is seeking $1.75 billion in actual damages and unspecified billions more in punitive damages. And the chances that this case will be settled on the eve of trial might be likened to the chances of a snowball in a warm place. "I do not intend to compromise," said Humphrey in a statement Friday. "In Minnesota, the ground rules are different and the line in the snow has been drawn."
  • 01/17/98 Humphrey Says State Is Ready For Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The next battleground is Minnesota, and the tobacco industry can expect a chilly reception -- in more ways than one," Humphrey said, reading from a statement in his Capitol office. "We can get this thing right either at the negotiating table or in the courtroom," Humphrey said, "but the bottom line is -- we're going to protect kids, expose the truth and bring this outlaw industry to justice."
  • 01/17/98 Humphrey: State Prepared To Begin Tobacco Lawsuit; Doesn't Rule Out Possibility Of Settlement St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/17/98 Will HUMPHREY Settle Tobacco Lawsuit? AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/17/98 Minnesota Ag Would Consider Negotiating With Tobacco Firms Bloomberg/Dallas Morning News
      Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III said he is willing to negotiate with cigarette makers on a settlement to recoup money spent treating sick smokers, though he said he won't compromise on cutting teen smoking and exposing industry practices.
  • 01/17/98 Minn. Open To Tobacco Settlement; Trial Slated For Tuesday Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III didn't rule out a settlement, but said the state is preparing to go to trial with the tobacco industry in the state's lawsuit over Medicaid reimbursement. In a press conference here to respond to Texas' expected tobacco settlement, Humphrey said whether the state settles the case or goes to court, he will stand by his goals of document disclosure, protection of children and payment of damage costs. . . "We can get this right either at the negotiating table or in the courtroom, but the bottom line is we are going to protect kids, expose the truth and bring this outlaw industry to justice," he said.
  • 01/16/98 Minnesota: Tobacco settlement unlikely UPI
      "I do not intend to compromise." Humphrey says he wants cigarette-makers to release documents proving their culpability, to protect children from smoking and to collect damages. "We have uncovered more tobacco company secrets than anyone in the world and I will not settle for anything that falls short of my goals." He said the fact that the tobacco companies are willing to pay out billions of dollars to settle claims proves they are guilty of wrongdoing. "You don't pay $14 billion if you have done no wrong."

  • 01/16/98 Early Death Benefit Theory Gets Stern Rebuke From Judge Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/15/98 Judge Lectures Tobacco Lawyers AP Washington Post
      A Minnesota judge told tobacco industry lawyers Thursday they should be glad he hasn't let them argue that the state has benefited financially from the premature deaths of smokers. . . I'm doing you a favor," he told Murray Garnick, an attorney for Philip Morris. . . "I have difficulty conceiving any jury in the world buying into that concept," Fitzpatrick said.

  • 01/15/98 Minnesota Tobacco Suit Unlikely To Reach A Jury, Some Say Dow Jones (pay registration)
      State Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III has said repeatedly that there can be no settlement without "full and complete disclosure of the truth." That's a sticking point. If the tobacco companies voluntarily turn over documents, they essentially would waive their traditional defense of attorney-client privilege in future lawsuits, said Morgan Stanley Dean Witter analyst David Adelman. But if they hand over documents during a trial, they wouldn't necessarily waive those rights. That issue could weigh heavily on tobacco lawyers' minds as the trial nears.
  • 01/15/98 MINNESOTA Draws a Line in Snow on Big Tobacco Christian Science Monitor
      The tobacco industry has had its back to the wall for some time. But now it's facing a firing squad. Starting on Tuesday, in the most widely watched tobacco case yet, Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III will start questioning potential jurors in a case that some say is a matter of life and death for the tobacco industry. Unlike three earlier lawsuits brought by Mississippi, Florida, and Texas, this one is not likely to be settled before the bailiff bangs the gavel in state Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick's St. Paul District Court. This is because Mr. Humphrey, son of the late senator, is demanding that the tobacco companies disclose 250,000 documents that he believes will cast the industry as villains. "This litigation is not about money; it's about whether the industry will survive."
  • 01/18/98 Tobacco Goes on Trial Tuesday in St. Paul Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/17/98 Minn. Prepares for Tobacco Trial AP Washington Post
  • 01/17/98 MINNESOTA to Take Tobacco Industry Suit to Trial Reuters
  • 01/17/98 Tobacco Industry Faces `Smoking Howitzers' in Minnesota Suit Washington Post
      Humphrey doesn't expect his case to have an effect in his state alone. He knows that whenever his trial team releases a new document, Washington will be watching. "As we tell that story in the courtroom," he said, "it's obviously going to be heard not only in the courtroom, but also in the halls of Congress" as lawmakers attempt to fashion a national tobacco deal.
  • 01/20/98 Four Jurors Seated in Tobacco Trial UPI
      Five of the jurors were dismissed and four remained in the jury pool today after they were asked questions concerning their views on health problems associated with smoking, whether they thought smoking was addictive, and other queries designed to gauge their attitudes about cigarettes.
  • 01/20/98 Jury Selection Begins in Minnesota Tobacco Case Reuters
  • 01/20/98 Jury Selection Begins In St. Paul For The Minnesota Medicaid Case Business Wire
  • 01/20/98 Tobacco Case Heats Up CNN
      The judge in Minnesota's billion-dollar damage case against tobacco companies addressed 25 prospective jurors Tuesday morning amid reports that settlement talks between the companies and state officials had stalled. Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick was individually questioning potential jurors Tuesday afternoon in an effort to select six jurors and six alternates in the state's fraud and conspiracy suit.

  • 01/20/98 Major Tobacco Trial Opening in Minnesota LA Times
  • 01/20/98 Minnesota vs. Tobacco Industry: No Sign of Settlement AP/CNN
  • 01/20/98 Opposing Attorneys Clash at Briefing on Eve of Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/20/98 Attorneys Spar on Eve of Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Michael Ciresi, principal attorney for the state and co-plaintiff Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, showed up uninvited at a late afternoon media briefing conducted by industry attorneys at the St. Paul Radisson Hotel. Michael Ciresi, right, principal attorney for the state and co-plaintiff Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, showed up uninvited at a media briefing conducted by Philip Morris attorney Mike York. "I don't think it's a good idea to give a press briefing the night before," Ciresi said. "Don't you want to pick an impartial jury?" Ciresi asked the tobacco industry attorneys. "Do it in a courtroom where it belongs."
  • 01/20/98 Lawyer in Minn. Tobacco Lawsuit "Crashes" News Conference AP
      "This is inappropriate," Michael Ciresi said as he walked into a downtown hotel conference room where tobacco lawyers were holding a briefing for the media. "Lawyers who are trying the case really should not be here attempting to give their sides of the story," Ciresi said. "This is going to happen in the courtroom."
  • 01/20/98 PROFILE: KENNETH FITZPATRICK: Tobacco Trial Judge Known for Handling Tough Cases St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/20/98 Minnesota's Top Cop: Tobacco Dragonslayer? Christian Science Monitor
      A big score against tobacco could propel Humphrey into the governor's chair. A standoff could bust him.
  • 01/19/98 Rival lawyers in tobacco case share drive, will to win St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Opposing lead attorneys Michael Ciresi and Peter Bleakley, for the state of Minnesota and Philip Morris Cos., respectively, were in their element, jousting over arcane procedural details. The real dueling starts Tuesday, however, barring an 11th-hour settlement. Ciresi and Bleakley, two highly successful lawyers accustomed to winning, face off in a dramatic confrontation being watched across the country. It promises to be great theater.
  • 01/19/98 PROFILES: MICHAEL CIRESI, PETER BLEAKLEY St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/18/98 Tobacco, MINNESOTA Facing Off St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Big Tobacco goes on trial Tuesday in Minnesota in a huge lawsuit that aims to expose nothing short of a 40-year industry conspiracy to deceive consumers and hook them on cigarettes.
  • 01/20/98 Minnesota's Tobacco Case Begins AP Washington Post
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick questioned about two dozen potential jurors this morning from a pool of 180, asking what they know about the companies, state agencies and other groups involved in the case.
  • 01/19/98 With MN--Tobacco Trial Precis of Defendants/Plaintiffs. Key Issues AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/21/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/21/98 Tobacco Stocks Slip As Selection Of Jury Begins In Minnesota Case Bloomberg/Winston-Salem Journal
  • 01/21/98 Jury Selection Begins in Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/21/98 HUMPHREY's Day in the National Spotlight Doug Grow, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "My father said he told Harry Truman, 'Give 'em hell,' " Humphrey said. "Truman told him, 'It's not hell I'm giving 'em; it's truth, and they think it's hell.' "
  • 01/21/98 Legislative Auditor Rejects Probe Of Tobacco Lawyer Fees Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      A request for a review of potential expenses in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry was rejected as premature Tuesday by Legislative Auditor James Nobles. Gov. Arne Carlson's commissioners of commerce, health and human services asked for the review in November after the Republican governor criticized a contract between private lawyers handling the case and DFL Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III.

  • 01/22/98 20 Jurors Picked In Initial Cut In Minn. Tobacco Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      As the third day of jury questioning wrapped up, the judge presiding over Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry continued to allow more people into the jury pool despite objection from tobacco companies who said the jurors have negative biases toward the industry.
  • 01/22/98 Twenty Jurors Seated in Minn. Trial UPI
      Jury selection is moving along briskly in a trial aimed at recouping $1.75 billion in medical costs from the nation's major tobacco companies. A Minnesota judge has okayed 20 potential jurors, seven of whom are smokers, eight non-smokers and five former smokers who all say they can decide the case without allowing their personal feelings about cigarettes to interfere.
  • 01/22/98 Tobacco Trial Update: Wednesday Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday's quote: "I'm a smoker, so I don't totally disagree with the tobacco companies," said a smoker of 13 years. "So much smokers' rights have been taken away from them, and it's not the tobacco companies that are doing it."
  • 01/21/98 Day 2 Daily Briefing from the St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/22/98 Pace of Tobacco Trial's Jury Selection Quickens St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Jury selection moved at a faster clip on Wednesday in the Minnesota tobacco trial as most potential jurors testified they would strive to be fair and impartial regardless of their personal opinions on smoking and the tobacco industry. It was a day filled with intense, detailed questioning of 14 potential jurors about their attitudes toward tobacco companies, including whether they think smoking is addictive or cigarettes are marketed to children.
  • 01/22/98 Prospective Jurors Continue To Surprise In Tobacco Case Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Even though they're armed with responses previously provided from a detailed juror questionnaire, attorneys for the tobacco industry and the state of Minnesota can't be sure what to expect when they question potential jurors about the issues of smoking and health. . . the level of anti-smoking sentiment continued to be as strong Wednesday as it was Tuesday, when jury selection began and several potential jurors said they could not be impartial to the tobacco industry in a trial involving smoking and health.
  • 01/21/98 Jury Selection Continues in Minn. Trial UPI
      A second day of jury selection in a landmark trial of the nation's largest cigarette makers has resulted in 14 more potential jurors being passed into the jury pool.
  • 01/21/98 Five Potential Jurors Dismissed in Tobacco Suit AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Lawyers defending the tobacco industry against the state's lawsuit are rejecting potential jurors who have already decided that cigarette makers should be punished.
  • 01/21/98 14 Picked For Jury Pool In Minn. Tobacco Case; 5 Smokers Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Of the 23 jurors questioned so far in two days of jury selection here in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, 14 have been selected to enter into a jury pool and nine have been dismissed.
  • 01/21/98 2 Jurors Let Go For Anti-Smoking Beliefs In Minnesota Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Two jurors with strong opinions against smoking were excused Wednesday in the second day of jury selection for Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. About half the 14 jurors interviewed so far have been excused either for admitting they can't be fair and impartial or for personal hardship, such as the financial difficulty that being away from their jobs would create.
  • 01/21/98 Professor With Anti-Tobacco View May Be Juror In Minn. Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      An associate professor of molecular biology at the University of Minnesota who received research funding several years ago from the American Cancer Society was among a pool of potential jurors who may be selected to serve in the trial pitting Minnesota against the tobacco industry.
  • 01/21/98 Jury Selection Presents Tobacco Trial Difficulty St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The first day of jury selection in the Minnesota tobacco trial revealed strong anti-tobacco sentiments that may mean slow progress in finding 12 impartial citizens. Three of the eight potential jurors interviewed by attorneys on Tuesday admitted to biases about smoking or the tobacco industry, and Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick dismissed them. The judge also dismissed a juror who said the state had no right to sue cigarette makers for consumer fraud because smoking is a matter of individual choice. Three men and one woman -- two of them smokers -- passed the first stage of jury selection. But the final sele
  • 01/21/98 Trial Puts Smokers on Edge St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Smokers are a little clan of bad people," a woman said sarcastically Tuesday morning as she stubbed out a cigarette in an ugly, monumental sidewalk ashtray on the Fourth Street side of the federal building and hurried back indoors to her job. When I saw her smoking again with another federal office worker during her afternoon break, she refused to talk about the tobacco trial, the perils of smoking outside in Minnesota in January, or anything else. "It's our right to smoke," her friend said defiantly.
  • 01/21/98 County Court System Gets Unusual Spate of Activity St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Tuesday was one of the busiest days in years in the Ramsey County courts, highlighted by three murder trials running concurrently, the tobacco case's opening day and a contentious hearing in the indictment of District Judge John Finley. In the tobacco trial, jury selection finally began -- in the federal courts building to accommodate the expected heavy turnout. And the crowd was heavy, featuring a small army of attorneys, a battery of satellite TV trucks outside the building, a gaggle of reporters and camera operators from some leading news outlets -- and, not least, the first batch of 181 previously selected juror candidates arriving for questioning by lawyers.
  • 01/23/98 Jurors In Minnesota Trial Voice Worries Over Tobacco Reuters
      A majority of the twelve jurors selected on Friday to hear Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry expressed concerns about the detrimental effects of smoking, and tobacco lawyers immediately cried foul. "The way by which jurors were selected was not fair," tobacco industry lawyer Peter Bleakley said in a motion requesting a new jury. The jurors are "not impartial and unbiased," he said. "Trying to be impartial is not enough."
  • 01/23/98 Jury Chosen in Minn. Tobacco Trial AP Washington Post
      Jury selection was completed Friday for Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry, but the defense made a last-minute request to dismiss the panel because of bias. "It makes no sense to allow this trial to proceed already infected by jury bias and reversible error before the first witness takes the stand," defense laawyers said in their motion. Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick did not rule immediately on the motion filed shortly before the jury was seated
  • 01/23/98 Minnesota Tobacco Jury Seated UPI
      A jury made up of three smokers, seven former smokers and two non-smokers has been seated to hear Minnesota's suit against the nation's cigarette makers.
  • 01/20/98 Day 1 St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/21/98 Day 2 St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/22/98 Day 3 St. Paul Pioneer Press
      CAPSULE: Attorneys' strategies becoming apparent: They seem very interested in jurors' views of corporate responsibility and personal choice
  • 01/23/98 Tobacco Trial Update: Thursday Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/23/98 Lawyers Seek "Perfect Juror" St. Paul Pioneer Press
      What kind of juror is best for each side in the Minnesota tobacco case? For cigarette makers, it probably is someone who feels strongly about personal responsibility. For the attorneys suing the tobacco industry, the best juror thinks big corporations have a responsibility to the public and are capable of wrongdoing.
  • 01/23/98 Tobacco Jury Begins to Take Shape Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Through Thursday, the potential jury of peers for the tobacco industry looked like this: --11 women and nine men; --Predominately white . . .
  • 01/23/98 Internet Research Used in Jury Selection Effort St. Paul Pioneer Press
      One potential juror, identified only as a University of Minnesota associate professor of biology, earlier had cleared the first stage of jury selection even though he admitted supporting a group called INFACT. He also said he had a good friend who served on the organization's board of directors. But after court closed on Wednesday, industry lawyers conducted nighttime research on the World Wide Web to collect information about the Boston-based group. "Indeed, the Web site for INFACT makes clear that the . . . organization is staunchly anti-tobacco," the industry lawyers declared in the motion filed Thursday morning.
  • 01/23/98 Tobacco Jury Pool Heavy with Smokers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorneys questioning potential jurors to hear Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry are finding a majority of those being kept in the pool are smokers or former smokers. It also was evident by the third day of questioning Thursday that most potential jurors have opinions on smoking and are quick to express them.
  • 01/23/98 Day 4 St. Paul Pioneer Press
      QUOTE: "I am questioning my ability to adapt to being so confined," one prospective juror said during questioning. "Is there some medical problem?" Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick inquired. "It will infringe on my free spirit," she responded. She was picked to serve on the jury.
  • 01/24/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: Opening statements in the case of the state of Minnesota, et al, vs. Philip Morris, et al, are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in a seventh-floor courtroom of the federal courthouse in downtown St. Paul.
  • 01/24/98 Tobacco Industry: Void Jury St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/24/98 With AM-MN--Tobacco Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Following are thumbnail sketches of the 12 jurors chosen to hear Minnesota's lawsuit agains the tobacco industry, based on responses to questioning during jury selection. . . No. 7--Man in 20s or 30s. Former smoker who quit in 1991. .
  • 01/24/98 Jurors Picked for Tobacco Trial; Defense Asks Removal AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/24/98 Tobacco Jury Chosen; Defendants Complain Of Juror Bias Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The final jury contained three smokers, seven former smokers and two who said they've never smoked. Nine of the jurors said they believe smoking is addictive. Ten of the 11 tobacco defendants quickly registered their displeasure with the jury-selection process and asked Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick to toss out the final pool of 24 from which the jury was chosen and start over.
  • 01/23/98 Tobacco Cos. Seek Dismissal of Entire Jury In Minn. Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Shortly before a 12-member jury panel was scheduled to be picked from a pool of 24 in Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry, lawyers for tobacco companies filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the entire pool, alleging anti-tobacco bias among jurors and saying the court applied the wrong standards in jury questioning.
  • 01/23/98 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Makes Announcement Business Wire
      The tobacco industry's motion is without merit. A fair and impartial jury has been selected by an appropriate process. We look forward to presenting our case against the tobacco industry beginning Monday morning.

  • 01/26/98 Tobacco Deal In Minnesota Possible, But Not Probable St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Minnesota is unique -- it is not necessarily the next domino to fall," said Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health and author of a 1997 report on tobacco settlement prospects.

  • 01/25/98 Tobacco Suit Dismissal Denied Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The industry defendants had asked him to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the alleged misconduct occurred more than six years before the suit was filed in 1994. But Fitzpatrick said the statute doesn't apply in this instance, because evidence compiled by the state infers "that defendants engaged in a decades-long successful campaign to hide and conceal information from their internal files regarding their misrepresentations and fraud and other wrongdoing."
  • 01/25/98 Week in Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/26/98 Lawyer: Tobacco Cos Target Youth AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The evidence will show this is a renegade industry which has placed profit ahead of the health of its customers," attorney Michael Ciresi said in his opening statement. "Marlboro has risen to its No. 1 position on the backs of America's youth," he said. Cigarette companies "treated America's youth as a commodity, as a source of replacement smokers."
  • 01/26/98 Minnesota attacks tobacco industry as suit opens Reuters
      The U.S. state of Minnesota opened its lawsuit against the tobacco industry on Monday by portraying big tobacco companies as deceitful in their relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of publichealth.
  • 01/27/98 Minnesota Opens Its Case Against Cigarette Companies LA Times
  • 01/26/98 Judge Sets Ground Rules As Tobacco Trial Begins CNN
  • 01/26/98 Tobacco Defense: No Conspiracy UPI
      Attorneys for Minnesota and Blue Cross Blue Shield today clashed with attorneys for the tobacco industry over whether cigarette makers conspired to lull Americans into thinking smoking is safe.
  • 01/26/98 Attorney Says Tobacco Cos Deceived AP Washington Post
      "Except for Liggett, which has admitted the addictive nature of nicotine, not one of these defendants has disclosed all that they know," Ciresi said.
  • 01/26/98 MINNESOTA Tobacco Trial Opens UPI
  • 01/26/98 Minn. Judge Denies Defense Motion Seeking New Jury Reuters
      ST. PAUL. Minn., Jan 26 (Reuters) - Ramsey County District Court Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick denied a defense motion Monday seeking a new jury in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Fitzpatrick did stress to the 12-person jury to maintain an open mind in the case, where opening arguments were set to begin on Monday morning.
  • 01/26/98 Minn. Tobacco Case: Smokers, Ex-Smokers Abound On Jury Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A majority of the 12 jurors selected to serve in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry believe smoking is addictive, and several have close family members who died from smoking-related illnesses, but nearly all said they will do their best to be impartial.
  • 01/26/98 Minn. Paints Picture Of Conspiracy, Lies In Tobacco Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies, knowing the health problems associated with smoking, nonetheless went to great lengths to cast doubt on independent scientific studies, said the state's lead attorney in his opening statement in Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry.
  • 01/26/98 Judge Denies Jury Dismissal Request In Minn. Tobacco Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 01/26/98 Opening Arguments Set for Today in Tobacco Case Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/26/98 Minnesota Wins Ruling over Recovering Profits AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press
      http://www.pioneerplanet.com/news/mtc_docs/021034.htm In a flurry of rulings on the eve of opening statements in Minnesota's tobacco trial, Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick denied cigarette makers' request that the state be barred from seeking their profits if they are found guilty of fraud. The state's allegations cover the time period of 1978-96. The Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act allows the state to recover profits made from illegal activities. How much profit the companies make from the sale of tobacco products is one of the industry's most guarded secrets.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Finishes Opening Statements UPI
      R.J. Reynolds attorney Robert Webber told a Minnesota jury that his company and others spent millions of dollars researching ways to cut tar and nicotine in cigarettes and develop such products, but they failed in the marketplace where consumers decided they did not like the taste.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Sets Up Defense UPI
      The tobacco industry says nicotine is not the only reason people smoke. Brown & Williamson attorney David Bernick, in his opening remarks today in the Minnesota tobacco trial, says smell, taste, ritual and social setting are part of the allure of cigarettes. He says a study of Marlboro cigarettes shows that its the combination of tobacco types and not the nicotine that makes it so "flavorful" and popular.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Industry Research Defended AP Washington Post
      A tobacco lawyer on Tuesday lauded an industry-sponsored research group for its decades of valuable research on smoking and health, denying it is a public relations tool for cigarette companies. Brown & Williamson attorney David Bernick defended the work of the Council for Tobacco Research against a Minnesota lawsuit that seeks to recover state money spent on treating smoking-related illnesses.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Attorney Denies Costs AP Washington Post
      "Smokers in these programs do not cost more than nonsmokers," attorney Peter Bleakley said Monday as opening statements began. "And if that is true, then the state and Blue Cross are not entitled to any damages."
  • 01/27/98 Judge Limits Tobacco Arguments UPI
      A Minnesota judge has decided against allowing the tobacco industry to argue smokers' early deaths mitigated the costs of smoking for Minnesota and told the cigarette makers sales tax revenue cannot be used to offset the state's claim for damages.
  • 01/27/98 DAY 5 St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "What lawyer wouldn't want to be here?" -- U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug, among those attending the opening statements.
  • 01/27/98 Minnesota Suit Against Cigarette Makers Opens With Charges of Deceit Washington Post
      The state has gathered an unprecedented collection of 33 million pages of internal industry documents that would prove, in "their own secret words," that "the companies waged a decades-long campaign of deceit and misrepresentation . . . in the name of profit," said Michael Ciresi, representing Minnesota and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance company.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Firms Face Accusers St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Deceit, exploitation and greed are the guiding beacons of the tobacco industry," said Michael Ciresi, the lawyer representing the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. But industry lawyers denied that the nation's largest tobacco companies broke laws, targeted kids, deceived consumers or cost the state and Blue Cross $1.77 billion to treat smokers for lung cancer and other diseases. "People were not in fact deceived," Philip Morris Inc. attorney Peter Bleakley told the jurors.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Trial In Minnesota Starts Bloomberg/Winston-Salem Journal
      Ciresi gave a road map of the state's evidence in his 2 1/2 -hour opening argument. He gave special attention to a national advertisement Jan. 4, 1954, by the industry to smokers titled "Frank Statement." In the ad, the industry's major companies said they had "a special responsibility and duty to the people of America" in the wake of scientific reports linking cancer and smoking. "We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility paramount to every other consideration in our business," the advertisement said.
  • 01/27/98 Plaintiffs: Tobacco Companies Manipulated Nicotine, Targeted Youth AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Cigarette makers "treated America's youth as a commodity" and manipulated them with advertising to recruit new smokers to replace those who quit or died, a lawyer for the state says. "Marlboro has risen to its No. 1 position on the backs of America's youth," said Michael Ciresi.
  • 01/27/98 State Opens Legal Attack In Tobacco Trial; Defense Responds Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In a steady, calm and meticulous condemnation of the tobacco industry, Minnesota attorney Michael Ciresi relied heavily on cigarette company documents to demonstrate what he said were decades of "deceit, exploitation and greed" during opening statements Monday.
  • 01/27/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The people of Minnesota have known that cigarette smoking is harmful for decades. The public awareness and belief about the health effects of smoking have been universal in this state." -- Philip Morris attorney Peter Bleakley
  • 01/27/98 Smoking Case Opens Before Minnesota Jury; State Stresses Memos, Notes; Defense, Statistics Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 01/27/98 Big Case Draws Court Watchers Of Varied Backgrounds; Legal Vips Join Casual Onlookers At Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/27/98 Opening Day Filled With Lawyers, Media, Public At Court Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Opening statements at the Minnesota smoking-and-health trial in St. Paul had all the elements of a Broadway debut: grand entrances, attentive spectators, plenty of media hoopla and numerous players and props.
  • 01/28/98 Expert Says Kids' Addiction To Smoking Is Strong Reuters
      A medical expert testifying in Minnesota's suit against the tobacco industry told a jury on Wednesday that children hooked on smoking have as much difficulty stopping as adults. "If children don't start smoking before they are 21, the chances that they will become smokers are very small," Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, said.
  • 01/28/98 Witness: Blame Cigarettes, Not Smokers
      The first witness in a trial seeking $1.75 billion in damages from the nation's largest cigarette makers says that cigarettes are, in essence, an "efficient delivery system" for an addictive drug, nicotine. Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic today says although there's a tendency to blame the smoker, "the smoker isn't the problem, the drug is the problem."
  • 01/28/98 Tobacco on Trial: They Said It RealAudio clips of trial principals, from WCCO-TV/Channel 4000
  • 01/28/98 Testimony Begins Today In First-in-nation Tobacco Trail Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Beginning today, the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry will be built through the words, opinions and knowledge of witnesses. First to take the stand will be Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center. Hurt's testimony is expected to occupy the remainder of the week.
  • 01/28/98 The Daily Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tuesday's quote: "Yes it may be hard to quit, but people do it. Did we say cigarettes are not addictive but habituating? Yes." -- Attorney David Bernick
  • 01/28/98 Cigarette Firm Tells Jury Charges Can't Be Proved LA Times
      David Bernick, lead lawyer for Brown & Williamson, said the plaintiffs--the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota--will be unable to prove that previous disclosure of the industry's research on tobacco and health would have caused smokers to change their behavior or prompted the state to change the way it regulated cigarette sales.
  • 01/28/98 Opening Statements Conclude St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/28/98 Tobacco Industry Lawyer Says Nicotine Not An Addiction Tool St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A tobacco firm attorney on Tuesday defended the industry's nicotine research, telling a Minnesota jury it's no secret that cigarettes are designed to deliver a specific dose of the drug. "Nicotine is a drug and has pharmacological effects," said David Bernick, a lawyer for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., who defined pharmacological as any chemically induced effect on the nervous system. "People smoke for a particular dose of nicotine," Bernick said. Bernick and another industry attorney said manufacturers redesigned cigarettes in the 1970s to adjust nicotine and tar content in response to public health concerns about high-tar cigarettes -- not to hook smokers.
  • 01/28/98 Leaf Industry Won't 'Walk Away' From Documents Richmond Times-Dispatch
      The lawyers said the research into nicotine ‹ the active ingredient in tobacco ‹ and into other cigarette ingredients wasn't secret or sinister but was part of an open scientific debate over the health effects of smoking. The experiments "were our response to outside concerns about nicotine . . . and smoking," said David Bernick, a lawyer for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and its American Tobacco Co. property.
  • 01/28/98 Mayo Clinic Doctor Tells Minn. Jury: Nicotine Is Addictive
      Dow Jones Newswires ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The cigarette is the most efficient delivery form of nicotine, which beats injecting it intravenously, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic testified Wednesday in Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry.
  • 01/28/98 B.A.T Appeals Ruling On Exclusion In Minn. Tobacco Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
      British tobacco concern B.A.T Industries PLC (BTI) filed a motion to keep the Minnesota tobacco trial from proceeding until an appeals court rules on whether the company can be excluded from the trial. B.A.T filed a motion Tuesday with the Minnesota state Court of Appeals asking for a writ of prohibition restraining the Ramsey County District Court and Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick from further proceeding in the trial.
  • 01/28/98 LEBOW, HUMPHREY Expected To Testify In Minn. Tobacco Case Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 01/28/98 Tobacco Lawyer Denies Deceit Allegations, Defends Research Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A lawyer for the tobacco companies denied allegations by the state of Minnesota that the industry concealed documents, deceived the public and failed to conduct internal research on smoking
  • 01/29/98 State Witness Testifies About Addictive Power Of Nicotine Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Nicotine is an addictive drug, giving its users cravings that eventually become nearly impossible to deny, a Mayo Clinic expert on dependency testified Wednesday. Dr. Richard Hurt, director of Mayo's Nicotine Dependence Center, testified in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry that quitting smoking was the hardest thing he ever did and that smokers have the same characteristics as people with addictions to other substances.
  • 01/28/98 Documents: Nicotine a Primary Focus AP Washington Post
      Tobacco executives and scientists acknowledged decades ago that their primary product was the drug nicotine, not cigarettes, according to internal documents introduced Wednesday in Minnesota's lawsuit against the industry. The documents were submitted to back up fraud charges against the industry
  • 01/30/98 Tobacco Giants Doubt Nicotine Expert UPI
  • 01/30/98 Expert Overwhelmed by Secret Tobacco Documents Reuters
  • 01/30/98 `Safer Cigarette' Concept A Fraud, Physician Testifies St. Paul Pioneer Press
      As smokers turned to seemingly safer cigarettes with low tar and low nicotine, tobacco companies secretly conducted research that showed smokers got neither, according to internal documents released Thursday.
  • 01/30/98 Witness: WCCO Anchor's Death Caused By Smoking St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Moore, a longtime WCCO-TV anchorman, died Wednesday at age 73. He had undergone quadruple bypass surgery in May and had been hospitalized for much of the time since. Dr. Richard Hurt, a Mayo Clinic physician and an expert witness for the state, declared during his testimony: "DAVE MOORE died of coronary artery disease, but he really died of nicotine dependence, because he was a smoker." Hurt used Moore as an example in describing what he called an important criterion of addiction: when people continue to smoke despite physical problems caused by or made worse by smoking.
  • 01/30/98 Day 8: Thursday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Odds & ends A woman who smoked four to five packs of cigarettes a day was so disoriented by nicotine withdrawal that she thought her wristwatch was a rotary-dial telephone.
  • 01/30/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/30/98 Doctor: Low-tar Cigarettes Haven't Lowered Lung Cancer Rates AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco companies honed the technology of cigarettes -- lowering the tar and nicotine readings, but keeping the product just as addictive and unhealthy, a Mayo Clinic doctor testified Thursday at the Minnesota smoking-and-health trial in St. Paul. Meanwhile, cigarette makers embarked on a "health reassurance" marketing campaign to confuse and convince consumers that smoking low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes was safer, Dr. Richard Hurt said during his second and final day of direct questioning by Michael Ciresi, lead attorney for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 01/30/98 Expert Says Low-tar, Low-nicotine Cigarettes Harm Public HealthAP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes are no less harmful than regular cigarettes and give smokers a mere illusion of safety, a Mayo Clinic expert testified in the state's tobacco trial.
  • 01/29/98 Nicotine Levels Altered AP Washington Post
      While tobacco companies were advertising cigarettes with lower nicotine, researchers were adjusting the drug's acidity so a smaller amount would have more kick, according to documents introduced Thursday in Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit.
  • 01/29/98 Doctor Tells Minn. Jury Tobacco Cos. Adjusted Nicotine Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies adjusted pH levels of smoke to enable nicotine to be absorbed into the bloodstream faster, according to Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center.
  • 01/29/98 Witness: Cigarette makers knew risks UPI
      A witness at Minnesota's $1.75 billion tobacco trial says the nation's tobacco companies have developed a highly addictive form of nicotine by manipulating the pH of smoke. Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic, in his second day of testimony, today says "free" or "freebase" nicotine is the most chemically addictive because of the speed at which it is absorbed into the bloodstream. He says, however, that not all smokers become addicted to nicotine. "There is a range of people who can use it and not become dependent. Just like there is a range of people who can use heroin and not become addicted," Hurt said.
  • 01/27/98 Day 6: Opening Statements Conclude St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/29/98 Day 7 Wednesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 01/29/98 Smokers' Testimony Not Allowed In Case Bloomberg/Winston-Salem Journal
      Tobacco companies are barred from using testimony by individual smokers to deflect Minnesota's legal claims that the cigarette industry conspired to defraud the state of medical expenses incurred to treat diseases caused by smoking. The ruling of Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick of Ramsey County District Court deals a blow to a key part of the industry's defense -- that individual smokers wouldn't have behaved differently if the companies had disclosed everything. "The actions of individual smokers do not insulate defendants from liability," Fitzpatrick said.
  • 01/29/98 Tobacco Papers Surprised Him, Expert Says LA Times
      Hurt, who has written many scholarly articles on nicotine addiction and related subjects, said the degree of knowledge reflected in those documents vastly exceeds what was in the public domain. Many were written at a time when the industry was denying that nicotine was addictive--a stance that many industry executives still maintain in public.
  • 01/29/98 Mayo Expert Implicates Nicotine, Big Tobacco St. Paul Pioneer Press
      When a leading expert on nicotine addiction from the Mayo Clinic finally glimpsed the tobacco industry's secret research papers, he says he came away stunned. "I had not even dreamed there was this much work done over the years, especially with regard to pH (chemistry) and nicotine manipulation," Dr. Richard Hurt told a St. Paul jury Wednesday.
  • 01/29/98 Jurors Learn about Nicotine's Effects AP Washington Post
      Computer animation and a life-size model of the human body were used to give jurors a science lesson -- how nicotine effects the brain and why it is so hard for smokers to quit. Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, showed jurors Wednesday that cigarette smoke gets nicotine to the brain faster than an intravenous injection and much faster than nicotine patches.

  • 01/29/98 Tobacco Documents Begin to Emerge in Minnesota AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "Why then is there not a market for nicotine per se, to be eaten, drunk or sucked?" William L. Dunn Jr., a Philip Morris researcher, wrote after taking part in a 1972 Caribbean meeting held by the Council for Tobacco Research. "The cigarette is among the most awe-inspiring examples of the ingenuity of man," Dunn wrote. "The cigarette should not be construed as a product but a package. The product is nicotine."
  • 01/31/98 Day 9: Friday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Capsule Tobacco industry lawyer David Bernick tries to poke holes in the testimony of Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic, who contends cigarette makers misled smokers about low-nicotine cigarettes.
  • 01/31/98 Tobacco Daily Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 01/31/98 Cigarette Data Subject Of Debate In Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The tobacco company lawyer probed and pressed, hoping the Mayo Clinic physician on the witness stand would concede one point -- that millions of Americans have simply quit smoking. "You don't think these people made a choice?" asked David Bernick, a lawyer for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. "Choice is your word," replied Dr. Richard Hurt, medical director of the clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center. "It is the industry word. It is a bad word."
  • 01/31/98 Witness Says Scientific Literature Not Same As Consumer Knowledge Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The addictive nature of nicotine may have been written about in scientific journals for more than 50 years, but the information didn't reach the consumer, a Mayo Clinic physician has testified. "We're talking about the scientific literature here. ... What's in the scientific literature, if it doesn't make it to the consumer, doesn't get to the right place," Richard Hurt said Friday during cross-examination in the Minnesota trial against the tobacco industry.
  • 01/31/98 Doctor: Low-tar Cigarettes Haven't Lowered Lung Cancer Rates Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco companies honed the technology of cigarettes -- lowering the tar and nicotine readings, but keeping the product just as addictive and unhealthy, a Mayo Clinic doctor testified Thursday at the Minnesota smoking-and-health trial in St. Paul.
  • 01/31/98 Doctor: Smokers Don't Have A "Choice" About Quitting Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The tobacco industry on Friday tried to establish that its development and advertisement of low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes was encouraged by public health officials and scientific reports. It also submitted that people who quit smoking choose to do so.
  • 01/31/98 Blue Cross CEO: Tobacco Suit Could Open Gates For Other Insurers AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "There have been a number of inquiries (from other insurers) about the possibility of going forward. It will be interesting to see what happens," said Andy Czajkowski, the Minnesota plan's president and chief executive.
  • 02/01/98 Ruling Awaited On Protecting Secret Tobacco Papers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Any day now, a court-appointed official is expected to rule on the legal status of more than 200,000 top-secret corporate documents that could give the state critical evidence enhancing its allegation of industry conspiracy and fraud. Special Master Mark Gehan, a St. Paul private attorney, has spent at least 40 hours a week since last spring reviewing selected segments of the industry material.
  • 02/01/98 Tobacco on Trial: Week in Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Scheduled to appear in this order are: Channing Robertson, a Stanford University chemical engineer; Walker Merryman of the Tobacco Institute, a defendant in the case; and, if time remains, Bennett LeBow, chief executive officer of The Liggett Group.
  • 02/04/98 Documents Show Nicotine Tampering AP Washington Post
      An undated Brown & Williamson internal document described a "Y-1" tobacco strain with a nicotine content of 6.5 percent by weight. "Through genetic engineering they were able to develop a tobacco strain with twice as much nicotine as it might otherwise have," said Channing Robertson, a Stanford University professor. "I am aware that the Y-1 product was contained in cigarettes sold in the United States," Robertson said at another point.
  • 02/05/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Robertson continues his testimony and is expected to face cross-examination by lawyers representing tobacco companies.
  • 02/04/98 Day 11: Tuesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Capsule: Channing Robertson, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and an expert on the design of cigarettes, testified about the design of cigarettes as a drug delivery device for nicotine. By the numbers *Lethal dose of nicotine for humans: 40 milligrams. *Amount of nicotine per cigarette: 8 to 15 milligrams.
  • 02/04/98 Industry Papers Talk of Nicotine's Addictiveness LA Times
      A Stanford University professor testifying Tuesday in Minnesota's landmark anti-tobacco case said internal documents spanning five decades show that tobacco firms have long understood that nicotine is addictive and that without it "there would be no cigarette business."
  • 02/04/98 Expert In Trial Says Tobacco Cos Focused On Nicotine Dosage Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies studied nicotine's effects on the human body and viewed cigarettes as a drug-delivery device, according to Minnesota's second witness in its $1.77 billion suit against the industry.
  • 02/04/98 Sensitive Memos Damning To Tobacco Introduced At Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Cigarette manufacturers acknowledged internally that they were in the nicotine delivery business, not the tobacco business, according to memos produced Tuesday in the Minnesota smoking-and-health trial. The acknowledgment was reviewed in testimony from a Stanford University scientist. Tobacco executives also were concerned about government regulation of nicotine as a drug -- an involvement they felt "should be avoided at all costs," according to one previously confidential document.
  • 02/04/98 Tobacco Firms' Motives Questioned; Expert: Marijuana Plan Betrays 'Drug Delivery' St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A huge British tobacco company once considered mixing its cigarettes with marijuana if that drug ever were legalized, according to a document admitted into evidence Tuesday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. In a March 1976 British-American Tobacco Co. report entitled "The Product in the Early 1980s," the company pondered how it might handle potential rivals to cigarettes. "Forecasts based upon the emergence of a rival to the cigarette are rare, but the use of marijuana and nicotine-containing chewing-gum . . . have been suggested," the tobacco company's researchers reported.
  • 02/04/98 Defendants Say Clerk Overcharged St. Paul Pioneer Press
      In a motion filed Tuesday with Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, the tobacco industry defendants asked that law clerk Michelle Jones be removed from any further participation in the lawsuit. The defendants say Jones has been paid $53,900 in fees since July 1997 for work she should have done as part of her duties as law clerk.
  • 02/03/98 Smokes Called "Drug Delivery System" UPI
      In testimony today in Minnesota's suit against the tobacco industry, Channing Robertson testified he reviewed internal documents that indicate industry scientists were well aware of tobacco's effect on the human body. . . Under questioning from lead attorney Michael Ciresi, Robertson said he saw no evidence in the documents that the companies publicly admitted cigarettes were a drug delivery system before the state filed its suit in 1994.

    The JAMA articles are here
  • 02/03/98 Day 10: Monday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Capsule: Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic, an expert on nicotine addiction, sparred with tobacco industry lawyer David Bernick during a second day of cross-examination. By the numbers: 17 -- the number of tobacco industry documents introduced in the Minnesota trial marked as "protected," "confidential," "secret," "restricted" or "don't copy."
  • 02/03/98 Jury Hears Medical Articles in Minnesota Case LA Times
      Over heated defense objections, portions of some of the most scathing articles ever published about the tobacco industry in a scholarly medical journal were read to the jury in the massive case filed against the nation's cigarette companies by the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • 02/03/98 Medical Journal Articles Create Stir At Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Despite objections by a tobacco industry lawyer, some of the most disparaging medical journal articles ever written about cigarette makers have been read to jurors in Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit. The two articles and an editorial from the Journal of the American Medical Association provoked an uproar when they were published in July 1995, partly because they were based on documents stolen from a tobacco company law firm.
  • 02/03/98 State Witness Concludes Testimony With Tobacco Condemnation Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, ended his fourth day of testimony Monday, unwavering in his opinion that nicotine is addictive and cigarette smoking is the best vehicle for delivering the drug. . . Bernick: "Scientific literature contained references that smokers smoke for nicotine, it's addictive. That was no secret to the scientific community." Hurt: "Consumers never heard it and your companies denied it. They even deny it today."
  • 02/02/98 TWAIN Quoted in Tobacco Trial AP Washington Post
      Twain said "stopping smoking is the easiest thing he ever did, (and that) he ought to know because he's done it hundreds of times," Bernick said. "Isn't it true that for hundreds of years it's been common knowledge that once you start using tobacco it's hard to stop?" Bernick asked Dr. Richard Hurt . . .
  • 02/02/98 Tobacco Cos. Compare Nicotine, Caffeine UPI
      Bernick read an excerpt from a report on caffeine that cited withdrawal sypmtoms such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting. . . Hurt said that while caffeine has a "pharmacological effect," it's not considered an addictive drug. He added, "It certainly doesn't kill 400,000 people a year. In terms of magnitude, it's not even on the same page." . . Getting in one last lick for the day, prosecutor Michael Ciresi read from a 1962 tobacco company document which read, "We now posess a knowledge of nicotine far more extensive than exists in published scientific literature."
  • 02/02/98 Tobacco Trial Smoking Out Damaging Memos LA Times
      Among the potentially most damaging documents are those showing that the cigarette companies knew years ago from their own internal research that smokers using supposedly safer "low-tar, low-nicotine" cigarettes compensate in a variety of ways to get the desired level of nicotine to satisfy their cravings. . . Another BATCO researcher, Colin C. Greig, a participant in several company conferences on smoker behavior in the early 1980s, noted that "over the last 15 years . . . [human] puff volumes have risen as inexorably as machine deliveries have declined." Greig described the potential economic benefits to the company by quoting writer Oscar Wilde, who said a cigarette delivered "exquisite" pleasure but left one unsatisfied. Then Greig, added: "Let us provide the exquisiteness and hope that they, our consumers, continue to remain unsatisfied. All we would want then is a larger bag to carry the money to the bank."
  • 02/04/98 Day 12: Wednesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Capsule Stanford University professor Channing Robertson cites internal tobacco industry documents he contends show that cigarettes are delivery devices for nicotine, and that industry scientists knew it.
  • 02/05/98 Expert: Ammonia Added To Cigarettes CNN
  • 02/05/98 Memo: Cigarette Complicated Chem System UPI
      On Wednesday, a partial list of the additives was shown to the jury. The pool of more than 600 additives that tobacco companies choose from for any particular cigarette include chemicals like acetic acid, table salt and potassium sorbate as well as natural substances like licorice, coconut oil and honey. Brown & Williamson attorney David Burnick tried today to chip at the credibility of chemical engineer Channing Robertson. Robertson acknowledged he has never attended a seminar on tobacco or cigarette reseach, had not written any of 132 published papers on tobacco and never before was retained as an expert witness on tobacco reserach. . . Burnick asked him if he studied outside literature on tobacco and compared that to the documents. Robertson replied, "No people from outside the industry had a clue of what you people were doing. I wouldn't expect to find the information I found inside the documents anywhere on the outside. Afterall, they are all marked 'secret and confidential.'"

  • 02/05/98 Minnesota Tobacco Lawsuit Transcripts Available on WESTLAW PR Newswire
      Trial transcripts from Minnesota's lawsuit against cigarette makers -- the first state tobacco lawsuit to go to trial -- will be available February 6 on WESTLAW(R), West Group's premier online source of value-added legal and business information. The new Minnesota tobacco litigation trial transcripts database (MNTOBAC-TRANS) will contain transcripts from the case, State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota v. Philip Morris, Incorporated, et. al., filed in Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul. Transcripts will be available within 24 hours after each day's proceedings. . . Researchers can use WIN(R)(WESTLAW is Natural(TM)) or Boolean search methods to access trial transcripts. Researchers can also access WESTLAW's tobacco news database (TOBACCONEWS) for the latest on the Minnesota tobacco litigation and other tobacco news from around the country.
  • 02/05/98 Efforts to Boost Nicotine's Potency Revealed LA Times
      A flurry of documents introduced Wednesday in Minnesota's landmark anti-tobacco case portray an industry deeply absorbed in improving the efficiency of nicotine delivery into the bloodstream even as it ratcheted down tar and nicotine levels to reassure worried smokers.
  • 02/05/98 Documents: Tobacco Firms Engineered `Nicotine Kick' St. Paul Pioneer Press
      One by one, cigarette makers since the 1960s have discovered that treating tobacco with ammonia can increase the "nicotine kick" even in low-nicotine brands, according to documents made public Wednesday. Marlboro, the nation's leading cigarette, began to add ammonia in its blend in 1965, and most other manufacturers adopted the process over the next two decades, said Channing Robertson, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. "Slowly but surely, everyone fell in line," Robertson said in his second day of testimony at the Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul.
  • 02/05/98 Cigarette Makers Manipulated Nicotine Levels, Papers Show Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "Irrespective of the ethics involved," said a 1984 marketing memo from British-based BATCo, "we should develop alternative designs [that do not invite obvious criticism] which will allow the smoker to obtain significant enhanced deliveries should he so wish." . . Robertson said the tobacco companies developed methods to enhance the quality of the nicotine in the cigarette smoke so that it would be absorbed faster by the bloodstream, thus increasing the kick. Tobacco companies did this by increasing the pH of the smoke, creating "free" or "free base" nicotine. "The defendants spent considerable effort searching for ways to continue nicotine delivery in cigarettes, no question about that," Robertson said.
  • 02/06/98 First tobacco industry witness testifies UPI
  • 02/07/98 Tobacco daily update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      * Friday: Walker Merryman, vice president and director of communications for the Tobacco Institute, a defendant, said the industry does not consider smoking to be addictive. * Monday: Merryman is scheduled to continue testimony.

  • 02/06/98 Minn Jury To Hear 5th Amendment Claim By Ex-Tobacco VP Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 02/06/98 Jury to Know Exec Took Fifth Richmond Times-Dispatch
      A Minnesota judge will let jurors know a top Philip Morris USA research executive declined to answer the state's questions on smoking and health research, citing his right to not incriminate himself. In an order released yesterday, Minnesota Circuit Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick denied a motion by Philip Morris to exclude the pre-trial testimony of DR. THOMAS S. OSDENE, the company's research director in Richmond in the 1980s. In June, Osdene asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege under questioning by lawyers from Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
  • 02/06/98 Caffeine, Nicotine Not Similar Products, Minn. Witness Says Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A tobacco industry lawyer tried Friday to establish that information on nicotine's effect on smokers contained in internal tobacco company documents also was available in scientific literature during Minnesota's lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers. . . Robertson, however, said he would have to see the specific scientific literature at issue rather than comment based on broad references . . However, in response to a question about a Loews Corp.'s (LTR) Lorillard Tobacco Co. document about smoke pH and published scientific literature on the same subject, Robertson said knowledge on pH measurement in smoke is well known in the chemistry world. "What's not known is how your industry made use of it and made use of it to secretly manipulate nicotine."
  • 02/06/98 Day 13: Thursday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      QUOTE: "The secret of Marlboro is ammonia." -- Scientist from competitor, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., in 1989 report. WHAT'S NEXT: Walker Merryman.
  • 02/06/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday: In his first day of cross-examination, Stanford University chemical engineering professor Channing Robertson admitted that he wasn't an expert on cigarette design until December 1996 when he was asked by the plaintiffs' lead attorney to review internal industry documents. Tobacco attorney David Bernick also said the industry's use of ammonia to maintain a nicotine "kick" in cigarettes did not necessarily increase those products' market share. *Today: Robertson continues to testify.
  • 02/06/98 Defense Attorney, Witness Spar Over Cigarette Additives Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Melissa Levy / Star Tribune Adding ammonia to cigarettes -- to maintain the "kick" of low-nicotine, low-tar brands -- didn't necessarily reap extra profits for tobacco companies, an industry attorney said Thursday at the Minnesota smoking -and-health trial in St. Paul. For example, even though R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Winston cigarettes became ammoniated in the late 1970s, its market share continued to decline, defense attorney David Bernick said.

  • 02/06/98 Pay For Ramsey County Judicial Clerk Questioned Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick denied a motion Thursday by tobacco company lawyers seeking to remove his own clerk from further work in the state's tobacco-and-health trial. However, Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen said he is reviewing the propriety of Michelle Jones receiving a reported $53,900 since last July for work she performed for a special master and a court observer hired by Fitzpatrick, who is presiding over the tobacco trial. Those payments were more than double her annual salary of $21,900.
  • 02/06/98 Judge Retains Clerk In Middle Of Billing Dispute St. Paul Pioneer Press
      On Thursday, Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick rejected as "specious" a tobacco industry motion to have his law clerk, Michelle Jones, removed from the case on grounds she has improperly billed the opposing parties a total of $53,900 for her work on the case since August. However, other judicial authorities said they plan to review the unusual circumstances that have resulted in Jones, a law school graduate who has yet to pass the bar exam, billing for $100 an hour.
  • 02/05/98 Allegations About Law Clerk's Billing In Tobacco Suit To Be Investigated St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 02/05/98 B&W Document Describes Genetically-Engineered Tobacco
      The existence and sale of the high-nicotine Y-1 tobacco has been reported before. . . . But Robertson's testimony allowed the state to put the information before the jury.
  • 02/06/98 Lonely Lawyers for Liggett Feel Minnesota Chill in Tobacco Suit The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      The loneliest lawyers in America are seated at the end of a long table in a federal courtroom here, where the trial of Minnesota's high-stakes lawsuit against the tobacco industry is under way. . . To the rest of the industry Liggett is a pariah. Technically, however, the company is a co-defendant with other cigarette companies here. While it separately settled Minnesota's suit seeking to recover its health costs for treating sick smokers, Liggett never reached an agreement with the other plaintiff in the case, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

  • 02/07/98 Minn. Tobacco Judge OKs Video Testimony UPI
      A judge this week ruled the videotaped testimony of a longtime Philip Morris researcher can be used in Minnesota's $1.77 billion suit against the tobacco industry. The tobacco companies wanted to exclude the testimony of Dr. Thomas Osdene, who led research at Philip Morris Inc. for 25 years and authored many of the internal documents that are currently part of the case.
  • 02/07/98 Tobacco's 'Ultimate Company Man' Goes Into Battle LA Times
      A former industry official, who would not speak if identified, described Merryman, 50, as the "ultimate company man in the old-fashioned sense . . . that he's willing to go into battle day after day. . . . He's got all those tapes in his head . . . and they just sort of kick in." But in the current phase of the smoking wars in which cigarette makers, desiring peace, want to project a cooperative image, there is "a 'Lost World' effect, with Walker sort of the Tyrannosaurus rex loose in modern America," the former official said.
  • 02/07/98 Tobacco Spokesman Disputes Allegations St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Walker Merryman, who was Big Tobacco's chief pitchman for decades, quit smoking after suffering a heart attack about 1 1/2 years ago. However, Merryman, who has been a spokesman for the Tobacco Institute, the leading industry trade group, since 1976, insisted in court Friday that his doctor did not order him to quit smoking but rather "suggested he consider it" among other lifestyle changes after heart bypass surgery. . .Confused? It was easy to be during Day 14 of the trial, which is being held in the Warren E. Burger Federal Building to accommodate expected large audiences (which haven't materialized). Merryman and Ciresi verbally sparred for three hours over semantics and the limits of Merryman's business responsibilities.
  • 02/06/98 Tobacco Institute to Jury: Smoking Doesn't Cause Disease Dow Jones (pay registration)
      "You're vice president of communication and you didn't know," Ciresi pressed. "You had no curiosity about why Liggett left?" Merryman said he was generally aware of the publicity surrounding Liggett's admission on addiction but he wasn't aware of why and when Liggett left the Tobacco Institute.
  • 02/07/98 Tobacco Industry Head Doesn't Consider Tobacco Addictive; OSDENE Video Challenged Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      On another matter, the tobacco defendants have asked Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick to reconsider his order allowing the video testimony of a senior Philip Morris scientist to be shown to the jury, which could occur as early as next week. In the deposition, Thomas Osdene, former director of research during the years when Philip Morris became the top cigarette manufacturer, asserts his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 135 times. . . Philip Morris attorney Michael York said the company believes it would be a "terrible mistake" for Osdene not to testify in person in the trial, and that Philip Morris Chairman Geoffrey Bible has personally urged Osdene to reconsider his decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment.
  • 02/07/98 Tobacco Spokesman Slams Smoking AP Washington Post
  • 02/08/98 Tobacco Industry Asks for Documents AP Washington Post
      The four largest U.S. cigarette makers asked a judge Sunday to let them release more than 33 million pages of internal documents being used against them in a lawsuit. Information from the formerly confidential documents has been released little by little over the past two weeks in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. By immediately releasing the documents, the industry may hope the information would have less impact than if details come out bit by bit.
  • 02/08/98 HUMPHREY in Focus in Tobacco Trial AP Washington Post
      As he walked into the courthouse in a black hat and coat, Hubert Humphrey III looked more like an old-style G-man than the attorney general who put Big Tobacco on the ropes. But at this point in his career, 3 1/2 years into a tobacco lawsuit that could make or break his political future, the ready-to-rumble look may be the most appropriate for Humphrey.
  • 02/08/98 Ammonia Called Marlboro's 'Secret' AP Washington Post
      R.J. Reynolds was desperate in the mid-1970s to learn why its leading brand, Winston, was losing market share to Philip Morris' Marlboro. . . "The secret of Marlboro is ammonia," according to a 1989 Brown & Williamson document. "Ammonia does many good things."
  • 02/08/98 Defense Struggles In Tobacco Trial's Opening Days Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It was the defense counsel who struggled during cross-examination of the state's lead witness last week. It was a bruising afternoon of courtroom footwork as Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. attorney David Bernick faced an unmovable witness, a quick-to-object opposing attorney and a judge who more than once admonished him for his line of questioning.
  • 02/08/98 Tobacco on Trial--Week in Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week *More testimony from Walker Merryman of the Tobacco Institute. Later, Liggett Group President Bennett LeBow is expected as a witness. This week also may see introduction of a contested videotaped deposition of former Philip Morris director of research Thomas Osdene.

  • 02/09/98 Minn. Trial: Tobacco Documents Show Youth Smoking Research Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Internal tobacco company documents reveal that Philip Morris Cos. (MO) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. conducted research on youth smoking habits and that R.J. Reynolds aimed advertising at the youth market, Minnesota state attorney Michael Ciresi said in court Monday. As Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry resumed, Cerisi asked Walker Merryman, vice president and director of communications at the Tobacco Institute, the industry's trade group, whether he knew that 80% of smokers start smoking before age 18. Merryman said he believed the percentage was less than 80% but that he wasn't aware of the specific percentage. He added, however, that the figure is substantial.
  • 02/10/98 Court Hears of RJR's Strategy AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      The board was told that two major competitors, Philip Morris Inc. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. "have shown unusual strength among these young smokers" with their Marlboro and Kool brands, while Reynolds was stronger among smokers 25 and older. "This suggests slow market erosion for us in the years to come unless situation is corrected," the board was told.

  • 02/10/98 Tobacco Industry Seeks Hearing On Clerk's Billing St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The tobacco industry is seeking a hearing before Ramsey County District Court Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen on the billing controversy surrounding Michelle Jones, the law clerk for Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick. Jones, a state employee with a $21,900 annual salary, has charged the litigating parties $100 an hour for some of her work since August, court papers say, totaling more than $50,000.
  • 02/09/98 State alleges tobacco marketed to kids UPI
      More documents on on the marketing of cigarettes to young people are coming out at Minnesota's tobacco trial. The state today accused the cigarette industry of deliberately advertising to children, pointing to a 1974 R.J. Reynolds document that referred to 14- to-24-year-olds as "tomorrow's cigarette business."
  • 02/09/98 Tobacco Cos Seek Document Release AP Washington Post
  • 02/09/98 Tobacco Firms To Open Library With Secret Files St. Paul Pioneer Press
      But Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said the offer to open a library is a "public-relations ploy by this outlaw industry that is desperately seeking immunity in Congress." He said the industry should disclose 240,000 documents on which it claims lawyer-client privilege along with documents "it continues to conceal in vaults in Europe." "The fact is, the industry has given up nothing," Humphrey said in a statement. "It is only agreeing to release the documents that we are already exposing at trial. . . . The American public deserves the whole truth, and we intend to stop at nothing less."
  • 02/09/98 Tobacco Industry Offers To Make Documents Public Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      As part of a national settlement strategy, the tobacco industry requested permission Sunday to make public millions of documents accumulated in the Minnesota smoking-and-health lawsuit. . . In a four-page motion, the largest industry players asked Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick to open the doors of the Minnesota document depository where more than 33 million pages of confidential material are stored. But the cigarette manufacturers reasserted their position that material protected by attorney-client privilege and sensitive trade documents should remain sealed. Other material marked confidential would be unsealed, under the industry request. . . The industry asked Fitzpatrick to move promptly on the request to open the depository and requested a hearing at the earliest convenience. They said they would cover all expenses for opening the facility, including increased staffing to answer public inquiries.
  • 02/09/98 Tobacco Industry Attorneys Building Their Case For Possible Appeal St. Paul Pioneer Press
      [C]igarette makers have launched a second legal offensive outside the courtroom that may get just as bloody. It is a battle waged with legal paper, aimed directly at the judge presiding over Minnesota's $1.77 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Since the trial began three weeks ago, tobacco industry lawyers have filed 63 motions, legal memoranda, letters, affidavits or other legal pleadings. Lawyers suing the industry have filed 15 court papers, mostly letters. Many of the tobacco industry filings question decisions by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick. In one motion, the industry accused the judge's law clerk of improperly billing the parties $53,900 in fees.
  • 02/09/98 Unwelcome Mat is Out for Big Tobacco LA Times
      These days a friendly forum for Big Tobacco is nearly impossible to find. But Minnesota is especially hostile, and Weigum's standing suggests what cigarette makers are up against in the biggest and most crucial courtroom battle in their history.
    Here's the item at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • 02/10/98 LeBow Says Liggett Has Yet To Pay Minnesota In Settlement Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Liggett hasn't made the payment in part because it's not due yet, LeBow said during cross examination by Robert Weber, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a unit of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. (RN). Asked by Weber whether Liggett would report a loss in 1997, LeBow said there was a price increase in the last quarter and that the quarter registered some profits. He said the pretax income would be small, near zero - "plus or minus a little."
  • 02/10/98 Day 15: Monday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      By the numbers 50 percent -- decline in sales of Liggett brands after it placed the warning "Smoking is addictive" on cigarette packs.
  • 02/10/98 Tobacco Witness Contradicts Execs' Testimony LA Times
      "I don't believe they testified that nicotine is addictive," Walker Merryman, vice president and chief spokesman for the Tobacco Institute, told jurors in the landmark tobacco case, which began its fourth week Monday. Pressed by Michael Ciresi, lead attorney for the state, to acknowledge the admission, Merryman reiterated: "I don't recall that they testified that nicotine was addictive." The exchange highlighted the industry's attempts to play different cards with different audiences as it struggles simultaneously to fight this case and win legal protections from Congress.
  • 02/10/98 LeBow Says Documents, Bottom Line Led To Addiction Belief Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Bennett LeBow, chairman and chief executive of Brooke Group Ltd. (BGL), said he secretly hired a law firm in 1995 to look into the threat of tobacco litigation against his company, partly after he got a chilly response from RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. (RN) to his effort to force RJR to spin off its food operations.
  • 02/10/98 Tobacco Industry Turncoat on Stand St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Smoking is really addictive," said LeBow, chairman and chief executive of Miami-based Brooke Group, Liggett's parent company. "It causes all these problems. I don't want to go to court and lie about it. . . . It is about time somebody stands up and said it, and we did." . . Another witness, Walker Merryman, the tobacco industry's longtime spokesman, testified he didn't know that chief executives for major tobacco companies recently admitted that nicotine is addictive. . . At one point, he said, "I don't believe that they testified that nicotine is addictive." Later, he said he didn't "recall" what position was taken by the tobacco executives. Newspapers across the country reported on Jan. 30 that four of five tobacco CEOs testifying before a House committee had admitted that nicotine is addictive. In the Pioneer Press, the story carried the headline: "Executives acknowledge tobacco is addictive." Merryman did not explain why his view of the testimony was so different from news accounts.
  • 02/10/98 Tobacco Co. Head Depicts Web of Intrigue AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The rest of the tobacco industry reacted with "total outrage" to Liggett's decision to abandon the united front, LeBow said. "I would call it a firestorm, not a reaction," he said. "We released all of our documents, waived all of our privileges."
  • 02/10/98 Tobacco Exec Testifies in Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The head of America's smallest major cigarette maker began to think there was something seriously wrong in 1995 when his largest competitor offered to cover his company's legal bills. . . LeBow, chairman of the Brook Group, said he had toed the industry's "party line" since buying Liggett in 1986: There was no proof that cigarettes caused cancer and other diseases. Mostly, he said, he just repeated what company lawyers told him.
  • 02/10/98 Cigarette Executive Says 'Smoking Really Is Addictive' Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The chief executive of cigarette manufacturer Liggett Group Inc. said Monday that nicotine is addictive, smoking causes disease and anyone who says different is not telling the truth. BENNETT LEBOW said he came to those conclusions after reading classified company documents while preparing to testify in a smoking-and-health lawsuit several years ago. "I was convinced that smoking really is addictive, that it does cause these [health] problems and I didn't want to go to court and lie about it. It was absurd," LeBow testified in the state of Minnesota's suit against the industry. "It was about time someone could stand up and say something, and we did," LeBow said.
  • 02/10/98 Anonymous Minneapolis Office Houses Trove Of Tobacco Papers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      At the moment the low-slung building in northeast Minneapolis slumbers in office-park obscurity. The sign outside is a blank piece of black plastic. People who work in buildings next door said they don't know what goes on in there. "It's part of Norwest Bank, isn't it?" one said Monday.
  • 02/12/98 Tobacco Cancer Links Explained UPI
      A cancer specialist explained the links between smoking and a variety of diseases as the state of Minnesota began to build its case that smoking is a drain on health care resources. Dr. Jonathan Samet of Johns Hopkins University laid the foundation for the state's contention that by getting people hooked on cigarettes, the tobacco industry is unduly taxing the state's health care resources.
  • 02/12/98 Expert Blames Smoking for Cancers AP
      Smoking causes a myriad of diseases that cost millions of dollars to treat, a cancer specialist testified Thursday in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Smokers also visit the hospital and use more health care services than nonsmokers and people who have quit smoking, said Dr. Jonathan Samet of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
  • 02/12/98 Day 17: Wednesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Capsule Tobacco industry spokesman Walker Merryman described the industry's efforts to discourage children from smoking. He insisted there is no proven link between smoking and disease.
  • 02/12/98 Cigarettes and Youth Dominate Testimony St. Paul Pioneer Press
      As in previous questioning, Ciresi attempted to paint Merryman, who joined the Tobacco Institute in 1976, as an active participant in what the state alleges is a decades-long effort to manipulate and undermine the public perception of the health risks of smoking. . . Merryman, meanwhile, continued to present himself as a good soldier who rarely questioned the projects about which he was providing information. Merryman reiterated the industry's position Wednesday: While smoking may be risky, there is no proven cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and disease. Nor, he said, does the Tobacco Institute promote or discourage the use of tobacco products.
  • 02/12/98 Tobacco Trial Jurors Handle Diseased Lung Samples Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors in the state of Minnesota's smoking-and-health lawsuit were given a sample of cancerous lung to examine Wednesday as a noted epidemiologist testified that smoking is the predominant cause of lung cancer.
  • 02/12/98 Tobacco Jurors Learn about Lung Cancer AP Washington Post
      "That's the cancer." Jurors leaned forward to see the two samples, each about the size of the palm of a hand. The normal lung was grayish-brown and smooth, while the tumor in the cancerous lung was much lighter than the surrounding tissue, lumpy and flecked with black spots. "You can see how it's spread throughout the lung and destroyed the structure of the lung. In essence, it's eating up the lung," Samet said.

  • 02/11/98 Tobacco documents subject to disclosure St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The first damaging evidence from the tobacco industry's privileged legal papers landed in a St. Paul courtroom Tuesday -- just as a judicial officer said 40,000 similarly protected documents should be disclosed. In a major defeat for cigarette makers, Special Master Mark Gehan recommended release of the largest collection of tobacco industry studies, memos and letters ever protected under the doctrine of lawyer-client confidentiality. Those documents still haven't been released. But the importance of such files was dramatically underscored the same day when three formerly privileged documents, obtained under an earlier ruling, were introduced as evidence in the Minnesota tobacco trial.
  • 02/11/98 Special Master Urges Release Of Voluminous Tobacco Records Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Special Master Mark Gehan, in a public report, said the claim of attorney-client privilege was applied improperly by tobacco companies in a number of broad categories and thousands of documents should be released. Gehan used language in Tuesday's report similar to that in a report last fall in which he determined that documents from cigarette maker Liggett Group contained evidence of "crime fraud."
  • 02/11/98 Humphrey calls secret tobacco documents 'crown jewels' of AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Lawyers for the state proclaimed victory after a court official said they should be allowed to use 40,000 secret tobacco industry documents in a lawsuit against the cigarette makers. Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III hailed Tuesday's recommendation by Mark Gehan, a court-appointed special master who reviewed samples of more than 240,000 confidential documents. "These are the 'crown jewels' of the conspiracy -- the documents the industry fought tooth and nail to conceal from the American public," Humphrey said. "They will reveal what the industry knew and when they knew it."

  • 02/11/98 Day 16: Tuesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "If you are really and truly not going to sell to children, you are going to be out of business in 30 years." -- Bennett Lebow, Head Of Liggett Group, On The Future Of The Cigarette Industry. What's Next? Defense will begin questioning Merryman Wednesday.

  • 02/13/98 Factors Besides Smoking Cause Heart Disease, Witness Says Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Dr. Jonathan Samet, head of the epidemiology department at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, acknowledged under cross-examination by Murray Garnick, an attorney for Philip Morris Cos. (MO), that smokers tend to drink more alcohol, exercise less and generally follow a less healthy lifestyle than nonsmokers. He acknowledged that a host of factors, such as family history and high blood pressure, contribute to heart disease.
  • 02/13/98 Daily Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: Attorneys for both sides will meet with Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick to debate a special master's ruling on millions of tobacco industry documents. Jurors have a day off for President's Day. The remainder of the Osdene deposition will be shown.
  • 02/13/98 Ex-Tobacco Researcher Testifies AP Washington Post
      The former top researcher for America's largest tobacco company invoked the Fifth Amendment 11 times in 15 minutes on a videotaped deposition played in Minnesota's tobacco trial Friday. Jurors are expected to hear the rest of the two-hour tape of excerpts from Thomas Osdene's deposition when the trial resumes on Tuesday. Osdene, retired research director for Philip Morris Inc., refused to appear in person to testify in the trial, despite urging by his former employer. In the videotape, he answered most questions about his work with the following statement: "On advice of counsel, I respectfully refuse to answer based on my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination because there is an ongoing parallel criminal investigation."
  • 02/13/98 Documents on Web St. Paul Pioneer Press
      As the documents went up, transcripts of the Minnesota tobacco trial were removed from the attorney general's site (www.ag.state.mn.us) because of a contract dispute with a court reporter who prepared them. The litigants hired court reporter Richard Stirewalt to prepare immediate transcripts of the testimony. But Stirewalt, claiming ownership of the transcripts, insisted that posting them for free on the Internet must end, said Leslie Sandberg, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office. Stirewalt did not return a telephone call to his office.
  • 02/13/98 Smoking studies attacked UPI
      Defense attorneys today tried to chip away at the relevance of studies linking smoking with a variety of diseases, getting an expert on the subject to admit other risk factors may be involved.
  • 02/12/98 Tobacco Industry Documents Posted On Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Web Site Business Wire
      Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is taking internal documents from tobacco companies that are entered as trial evidence and posting them on the Internet. The public can view the documents at this address: www.mnbluecrosstobacco.com . . .The home page has two sides. The documents are listed on the tobacco litigation side of the site under "trial news." The software needed to view these documents is available for free for those computer users who do not already have it. In the near future, the site will include a sophisticated search function that will make it easy for viewers to find specific trial exhibits. Currently, the documents are listed by exhibit number and title.
  • 02/13/98 Corrections St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A story on Monday incorrectly reported the number of pages of tobacco industry documents in a Minneapolis depository. Of the estimated 33 million pages of documents produced by the industry, about 26.8 million pages are in the Minneapolis archive, according to the plaintiffs in the case. The remaining documents are in a depository outside London.
  • 02/13/98 Smoking Blamed for Litany of Ills St. Paul Pioneer Press
      But Samet, who has been a scientific editor on three U.S. surgeon general's reports, said medical research, including statistical studies, can deduce the cause of disease if the scientific work meets five yardsticks, including consistent findings by different researchers. . . Citing studies by other researchers, Samet said smoking cigarettes causes cancer in the lungs, pancreas, kidney, bladder, mouth, esophagus and larynx. He said the cost of treating smokers with cancer increases with more radical treatments such as surgery.
  • 02/13/98 Tobacco Trial Witness Links Smoking And Disease Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Smokers also need more frequent hospitalization and miss more days of work because of illness than do nonsmokers, said Dr. Jonathan Samet, head of the epidemiology department at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. . . The plaintiffs need to establish for jurors what health risks and costs are associated with smoking. . . After more direct questioning and the cross-examination of Samet, a videotape of testimony by longtime Philip Morris scientist Dr. Thomas Osdene will be shown, either today or next week. During two hours of questioning taped last June, Osdene refused to incriminate himself by taking the Fifth Amendment about 135 times.

  • 02/13/98 Judge Won't Review Decision on Law Clerk St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 02/13/98 Judge's Law Clerk Won't Be Removed From Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ramsey County Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen said in an order Thursday that no state law was broken by the arrangement that paid law clerk Michelle Jones more than $50,000 since last July for helping special master Mark Gehan review tobacco industry documents. Cohen also said there is no court rule that provides for removal of a judge's law clerk. Fitzpatrick denied the tobacco company's request for Jones' removal last week, calling it "specious."
  • 02/12/98 Day 18 Thursday St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 02/14/98 Ex-philip Morris Scientist Invokes 5th Amendment LA Times
      For jurors, Osdene's ritual invocation of the 5th Amendment is a potent reminder that the tobacco defendants, seeking to portray themselves as good corporate citizens, are sweating through a criminal investigation. It may also intensify fears in Congress about the political risks of approving the nationwide tobacco truce being sought by the industry. . . Osdene gave that answer to a question about when he was promoted to research director and to another about whether he had been completely truthful in his 1984 deposition in the wrongful death case of Rose Cipollone, a New Jersey lung cancer victim.
  • 02/14/98 Ex-tobacco Researcher Takes Fifth During Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The stunning testimony, recorded last June at a deposition in Richmond, Va., lasted about 15 minutes, until court ended for the day. Osdene's recorded testimony will resume Tuesday in the $1.77 billion Minnesota tobacco case.
  • 02/13/98 Day 19 Friday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      What's next? On Monday, the judge is to hear arguments outside the jury's presence about the disclosure of thousands of lawyer-protected industry documents.
  • 02/13/98 National Tobacco Settlement Could Preempt Minnesota Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Minnesota's smoking-and-health lawsuit could be moot, depending on the course Congress takes in negotiating a national settlement with the tobacco industry. Tobacco interests are pushing hard for legislation that would preempt any state-brought lawsuit that has not already been settled or has not obtained final judgment in court, with all appeals exhausted. "Minnesota would not be allowed to cede from an agreement," said Peggy Carter, spokeswoman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
  • 02/15/98 Week in Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week *Jurors are excused from court Monday for Presidents' Day, but lawyers and Judge Fitzpatrick will meet to debate a court officer's ruling about thousands of sealed tobacco industry documents. Dr. Osdene's testimony will continue, followed by state witnesses expert in heart and lung disease, as well as tobacco company officials.
  • 02/15/98 Big Law Firms Caught Between Tobacco, Health Care Clients Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The tobacco trial underway in St. Paul, however, is surrounded by unease on the part of almost every Twin Cities law firm involved. Six of the top 10 in Minnesota have signed on to represent tobacco interests, as have at least three good-sized firms not in the top 10. . . "This is a serious ethical breach," said Dr. Stuart Hanson, president of the Minnesota Smoke-Free Coalition. "You shouldn't represent a nonprofit organization dedicated . . . to reducing tobacco use . . . and also represent people on the other side of the issue."
  • 02/14/98 LIGGETT Caught In No-man's Land In Minnesota Tobacco Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      When defense attorneys in Minnesota's tobacco trial gather in a war room to talk strategy, lawyers for Liggett Group aren't welcome. When the tobacco attorneys head out for dinner after a grinding day in court, you can bet Liggett attorneys aren't part of the group.
  • 02/18/98 Minn. Jurors -2: Took Fifth On Seed Transport Issues The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      "The issue of how Y-1 seeds got from the United States to Brazil is not relevant to this case," the company states in the motion. "Injecting this trial with Mr. Black's assertion of Fifth Amendment privilege will substantially prejudice B&W and will add nothing of relevance to the record."
  • 02/18/98 Ex-Philip Morris Scientist Says Research Data Kept Overseas Dow Jones (pay registration)
      "I may have coined gentleman's agreement but in my mind, it was a term I used to express the understanding between companies that in general were not qualified or capable of carrying on research of the kind necessary to address questions of smoking and health," he said. Wakeham said he felt Philip Morris' research department was unqualified to conduct studies on smoking and disease. Wakeham's taped deposition concluded Wednesday. A videotaped deposition of Robert Heimann, former chief executive of American Tobacco Co., a unit of B.A.T Industries PLC (BTI) is scheduled to be shown Thursday. Heimann is deceased. A video deposition taken from another trial will be used as his testimony, according to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 02/18/98 Chemist Pleads 5th Repeatedly UPI
      Memos introduced for Minnesota's $1. 75 billion suit against the tobacco industry suggest there was a campaign to keep sensitive research outside the United States and to destroy certain potentially damaging research. The memos were introduced today along with the videotaped testimony of former Philip Morris researcher Dr. Thomas Osdene, who repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering incriminating questions.
  • 02/18/98 Scientist Invokes 5th Amendment 100 Times LA Times
  • 02/18/98 Ex-tobacco Researcher Cites Fifth Over Industry Records St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 02/18/98 Ex-Official at Philip Morris Invokes Fifth Amendment on Role at Firm The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      In an embarrassing courtroom development for the tobacco industry here, a former research director at Philip Morris Cos. invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when questioned under oath about nearly every aspect of his work at the company.
  • 02/18/98 Tobacco Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      *Tuesday: Jurors viewed videotaped testimony of Dr. Thomas Osdene, retired Philip Morris research scientist, then heard from Twin Cities specialists Dr. Scott Davies and Dr. Kevin Graham. *Today: Dr. Graham resumes testimony this morning, followed by three videotaped depositions of tobacco company executives Helmut Wakeham, James Charles and Robert Heimann.
  • 02/18/98 Tobacco Scientist's Testimony Causes Stir On Both Sides Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors in Minnesota's smoking-and-health lawsuit learned about some of the inner workings of Philip Morris Tuesday through a witness who wasn't present in the courtroom and who hardly said a thing. Attorneys for the state used internal reports and memos to try to demonstrate that researchers at the world's largest cigarette manufacturer analyzed the content of smoke, studied the smoking behavior of beginners and used a foreign location to house -- and sometimes destroy -- medical studies. Philip Morris scientists also knew that mothers who smoked gave birth to smaller babies, and they worried about the industry's future as health risks became known.
  • 02/18/98 Video Of Philip Morris Official Lets State Bring Up More Documents AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial didn't learn much directly from the former research chief for Philip Morris except that he knows how to take the Fifth Amendment. Still, the testimony of Thomas Osdene . . . gave the state another chance to show the jury documents that Philip Morris had fought to keep secret.

  • 02/18/98 Jury Sees More Of Osdene Video AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      Thomas Osdene, a former head researcher for Philip Morris, smoked up to four packs of cigarettes a day, but jurors in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry didn't hear that. In fact, jurors didn't hear much of anything from Osdene, whose videotaped testimony was played yesterday. But what they did hear, through introductions of documents related to Osdene's testimony, suggested secrecy and deceit by a company that covertly researched the biological effects of smoking for more than 30 years. What jurors saw was a man obviously in bad health, refusing to answer questions about research he led for the country's biggest maker of cigarettes.
  • 02/17/98 Chemist Pleads 5th Repeatedly UPI
      Memos introduced for Minnesota's $1. 75 billion suit against the tobacco industry suggest there was a campaign to keep sensitive research outside the United States and to destroy certain potentially damaging research.
  • 02/17/98 Minn. Jury/Video -2: Osdene Refuses To Answer Queries Dow Jones Newswires
      Plaintiff attorney Gordon read another document from Osdene's, Philip Morris's former vice president of science and technology, files. The document, which appeared to have been written by Osdene, according to the attorney, said: "OK to phone and telex. These will be destroyed." Osdene invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked if he destroyed phone messages or telexes. He also invoked the Fifth Amendment to a statement read by Gordon from the same Osdene file: "If important, and important is underlined, letters or documents have to be sent, please send them to home. I will act on them and destroy."
  • 02/17/98 Chemist Pleads 5th 92 Times UPI
  • 02/17/98 Judge Deciding Whether To Release 39,000 Confidential Tobacco AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 02/17/98 Litigants Spar Over Releasing Tobacco Data St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Tobacco industry lawyers fought in court Monday against the release of an estimated 39,000 lawyer-protected documents in the Minnesota lawsuit against cigarette makers. "Not in the history of jurisprudence has such an intrusion into attorney work product ever been countenanced," Robert Weber, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., told a St. Paul judge.
  • 02/17/98 Top Philip Morris Researcher Takes 5th UPI
      Philip Morris researcher Thomas Osdene invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times in videotaped testimony being played for a Minnesota jury hearing the state's consumer fraud complaint against the tobacco industry.
  • 02/17/98 Minnesota Wants Tobacco Papers AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      The state asked a judge yesterday to order the release of 39,000 tobacco industry documents, saying that they would be some of the most important papers to come out during Minnesota's tobacco trial.
  • 02/17/98 Two Sides Fight Over Unsealing Of Sensitive Tobacco Papers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Disputed tobacco industry documents that may be unsealed soon were described Monday as "perhaps the most significant and important" material to come to light in the state of Minnesota's smoking-and-health lawsuit. Release of the documents "should have a noticeable effect" on the tobacco trial. . . "It is plainly an impermissible intrusion into the workings of counsel putting on a case," said Robert Weber of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., speaking on behalf of the industry. "It is fundamentally and profoundly impermissible." At issue are approximately 200,000 pages of material contained in 38,000 documents that a court-appointed officer reviewed and determined were not protected by the claim of attorney-client privilege. Special Master Mark Gehan recommended release of those documents last week in a 140-page report to Fitzpatrick. The report is currently under seal.
  • 02/17/98 Day 20: Monday St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 02/17/98 Daily Tobacco Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      *Monday: Attorneys for both sides presented arguments to Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick about the unsealing of about 200,000 pages of sensitive tobacco industry documents. *Today: More videotaped testimony from Dr. Thomas Osdene, retired Philip Morris research scientist.
  • 02/16/98 Excerpts from Tobacco-Trial Complaints Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Excerpts from tobacco-trial complaints Excerpts from documents filed in the trial of state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield's lawsuit (identified as "State") vs. the tobacco companies ("Tobacco"), which enters its fourth week today in U.S. District Court.
  • 02/19/98 Witness: No Proof Smoking Causes Cancer UPI
      The head of the Council for Tobacco Research sounded a familiar theme in testimony in Minnesota's $1.75 billion suit against the industry, denying there was proof smoking causes lung cancer. Dr. James Glenn testified today that though the U.S. surgeon general and organizations like the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association have all said smoking causes cancer, they are using the term in a different way than "in the scientific sense."
  • 02/19/98 Document: Tobacco Hired P.R. Firm AP Washington Post
      However, in a December 1953 Hill and Knowlton memo it was obvious the company's top priority was public assurance. The author of the memo called it the most challenging problem the company had ever faced. "There is only one problem -- confidence, and how to establish it; public assurance, and how to create it -- in a perhaps long interim when scientific doubts must remain," a Hill and Knowlton staffer wrote. "And, most important, how to free millions of Americans from the guilty fear that is going to arise deep in their biological depths -- regardless of any pooh-poohing logic -- every time they light a cigarette."
  • 02/19/98 Minn. Trial -2: HEIMANN Said Research Rehashed Old Studies Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Heimann, former president and chief executive of American Tobacco, also said in his 1986 videotaped deposition that the company saw no reason to change its position on smoking and health, even after Surgeon General reports warned of the dangers of smoking. He said much of the material - including subsequent Surgeon General reports and studies by the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society - were simply "rehash" of earlier studies that were repeated, analyzed and elaborated. . .
  • 02/19/98 Data On Smoking Stored Overseas St. Paul Pioneer Press
      High-level Philip Morris Inc. officials in the 1970s routinely stored research reports about cigarettes' health effects at a company lab in Germany, a former company scientist testified Wednesday. James Charles, a former research director based in Richmond, Va., said scientists at Philip Morris' INBIFO lab in Cologne studied the toxic effects of smoke, and sent reports to company officials in the United States. After the reports were read, they were shipped back to Europe for storage, Charles said in videotaped testimony played to jurors in the Minnesota lawsuit against cigarette makers.
  • 02/19/98 Former Philip Morris Research Officials Testify In Tobacco Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial got a glimpse into the inner workings of America's largest cigarette maker through the testimony of two of its retired researchers. Helmut Wakeham, a former vice president and chief scientist for Philip Morris, testified in a videotaped deposition shown Wednesday that he had no recollection of a dispute with competitor R.J. Reynolds over its animal research. James Charles, another former vice president, was quizzed in a separate video deposition about documents on sensitive research that were kept offshore at a laboratory in Germany.
  • 02/19/98 State, Insurer Want Y-1 Tobacco Testimony AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      The state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota filed a motion to admit part of a videotaped deposition by Roger Black, an employee of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. On the tape, Black invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about the export of seeds for a type of high-nicotine tobacco called Y-1. B&W's development and use of Y-1 "goes to the heart of plaintiff's claims of nicotine manipulation and the focus of Brown & Williamson on nicotine delivery," the state said.
  • 02/19/98 Day 21: Tuesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "It's certainly his (tobacco industry witness Thomas Osdene's) right to invoke the Fifth Amendment. But it causes me to be concerned about what the truth is. The documents show a cleverly designed pattern of destruction or the process of destruction of documents. Every step of the way you've seen how the industry is trying to stop this information from coming forth." -- MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL HUBERT HUMPHREY III.
  • 02/19/98 Q&A: Size Of A Tobacco Settlement Is Theoretical St. Paul Pioneer Press
      It's important to note that the $1.77 billion in requested damages represents two claims -- $1.31 billion by the state government and $460 million by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Both parties also seek anti-trust and punitive damages, which could boost the total award if a jury finds wrongdoing.
  • 02/21/98 Researcher Defends Work On Smoking St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Council's chairman disputes charge that health inquiry isn't legitimate. In the 11 years he has headed the tobacco industry's research group, Dr. James F. Glenn says he never discussed whether smoking caused lung cancer with the organization's board members. "I haven't addressed that topic simply because it hasn't come up," Glenn said in response to questions Friday at the Minnesota tobacco trial. "We have been addressing much more basic scientific problems."
  • 02/20/98 Order In The Court Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It is the eve of my first visit, on Tuesday morning, to the federal courtroom in which the tobacco trial is taking place in St. Paul. . . This proves to be but a hint of what is to come. The tobacco trial in St. Paul will turn out to be the most secretive, closed-off and -- once you do get in -- oppressive public events I have ever witnessed.
  • 02/20/98 Industry Research Created Stir Among Tobacco Firms, Papers Show Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      At least one tobacco company scientist could not believe that the industry-funded Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) was sponsoring studies that examined whether smoking caused lung cancer. "It is my strong feeling that with the progress that has been claimed, we are in the process of digging our own grave," Thomas Osdene, a former Philip Morris Inc. researcher, wrote in November 1977 in a confidential letter introduced Friday at the Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul. "I am very much afraid that the direction of the work being taken by CTR is totally detrimental to our position and undermines the public posture we have taken to outsiders," Osdene wrote.
  • 02/20/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Friday's quote: "I am very much afraid that the direction of the work being taken by CTR is totally detrimental to our position and undermines the public posture we have taken to outsiders." -- From a confidential 1977 letter by Dr. Thomas Osdene, a Philip Morris scientist
  • 02/20/98 Publicizing risks of smoking `not my job' St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A physician who heads a tobacco industry research group testified Thursday that he told his four children that smoking causes disease, but he never considered it his job to tell the world. "Of course I'm concerned -- none of us want to see our children start smoking," Dr. James F. Glenn, chairman of the Council for Tobacco Research, said at the Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul. Under questioning by an opposing attorney, Glenn admitted that making public statements about teen-age smoking is "not my responsibility or my assignment. . . . It is not my job." Glenn said he wasn't sure anyone in the tobacco industry had the responsibility to tell the nation's children about smoking and disease. "It has been common knowledge for a long time," Glenn said. "I don't know if it was their job or not. But I don't think so."
  • 02/20/98 State Says Tobacco Companies Did Pr, Called It Research Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Another memo, dated Dec. 15, 1953, recaps the first meeting of industry executives to create the committee, which later became the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR). "The industry is strongly convinced that there is no sound scientific basis for the charges that have been made," the memo said. "They feel that they should sponsor a public relations campaign which is positive in nature and is entirely 'pro-cigarettes.' "
  • 02/20/98 Tobacco Council Head Disputes Use Of 'Cause' In Cancer Link Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The head of the Council for Tobacco Research said Thursday during testimony in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry that smoking causes lung cancer - but only in a layman's term and not under scientific definitions. James F. Glenn, a physician who was the chairman of the urology department at Duke University and was the dean of the medical school at Emory University, told jurors he disputes the definition of the word "cause" in the way it's used by the surgeon general for tobacco and lung cancer.
  • 02/20/98 Tobacco Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday's quote: "There is a tacit acknowledgment that they [the tobacco industry] have got a product that carries a risk factor and we know what those risk factors are." -- Dr. James Glenn
  • 02/20/98 Document Reveals Tobacco Industry Moved To 'Stop Public Panic' AP
      A big public relations firm hired decades ago by the tobacco industry considered its top job stopping a "public panic" and freeing smokers from the "guilty fear" they might get when lighting up. The industry hired Hill and Knowlton in 1953 to help develop a counterattack to the growing number of reports linking smoking and disease, according to a document introduced at trial Thursday in Minnesota's lawsuit against tobacco companies.
  • 02/20/98 Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Key quotes: "Boy! Wouldn't it be wonderful if our company was first to produce a cancer-free cigarette. What we could do to the competition." -- an unnamed tobacco company research director quoted in a mid-1950s memo from public-relations firm Hill & Knowlton "Smoking a cigarette for the beginner is a symbolic act. I am no longer my mother's child, I'm tough, I am an adventurer, I'm not square." -- from a 1969 draft report to the board of directors of Philip Morris * This week: Glenn faces questioning by R.J. Reynolds attorney Robert Weber. Later, a day devoted to introduction of myriad documents, and more witnesses for the state of Minnesota.
  • 02/20/98 Day 23: Thursday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "That's not my responsibility or my assignment." -- Dr. Glenn, when asked if he made public statements about teen-age smoking.
  • 02/19/98 Day 22: Wednesday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "I don't remember what I thought." -- James Charles, Former Philip Morris Inc. researcher, asked if he thought it was "strange" that reports were stored abroad.
  • 02/23/98 Tobacco Industry Spksmn Backs Research UPI
      The head of the Council for Tobacco Research is defending the industry's position that smoking is only an "indirect" cause of lung cancer. In his second week of testimony in Minnesota's $1.75 billion consumer fraud suit against cigarette makers, Dr. James Glenn read from a 1958 document that said smoking is only an "indirect" cause of lung cancer.
  • 02/23/98 Tobacco Trial Puts Now-retired Female Legal Pioneer In Spotlight St. Paul Pioneer Press
      She fought some of the early battles in the tobacco wars, the lone woman in an army of male lawyers defending cigarette manufacturers in the 1950s and '60s. Now, eight years after her retirement from a New York City law firm, JANET C. BROWN suddenly is the focus of renewed interest from an unlikely front. Lawyers suing the tobacco industry in Minnesota and Oklahoma want to question her about recently disclosed documents that suggest she played a key role shaping the industry's legal response when scientists linked smoking to cancer decades ago. The notion of interrogating a lawyer about a client -- in this case American Tobacco Co., maker of Lucky Strike -- usually would be an unthinkable breach of lawyer-client confidentiality.
  • 02/23/98 The View From Wall Street Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Sean Stokes' new job takes him to the seventh floor courtroom of the Minnesota tobacco trial where he sits in the back row every weekday and watches the legal strategies unfold. Paying Stokes to be its eyes and ears in St. Paul is one of the most prestigious investment firms in the United States. His assignment? To provide nightly reports so financial analysts, brokers and money managers can gauge the economic impact of this landmark lawsuit.
  • 02/23/98 'Gentlemen's Agreement' Is One Key To State's Tobacco Case AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It's been called the "gentlemen's agreement." Plaintiff attorneys in Minnesota's tobacco trial also call it by another name: conspiracy. They say cigarette makers conspired to suppress scientific work that might link smoking and disease, and devised a sham research organization to muddle the issue.
  • 02/23/98 Tobacco-funded Research Barely Looked At Health Issues, Newspaper AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 02/22/98 Research Sponsored By Tobacco Industry Becomes Issue St. Paul Pioneer Press
      During Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry, the cigarette companies have said they are committed to knowing the facts about smoking and health -- even noting that they've given $3.63 million to 20 Minnesota researchers over the years to study the subject. But a review of that Minnesota research, and interviews with several of the scientists involved, shows that only six of the studies directly examined the causal link between cigarettes and disease. And of the 38 scientific articles that were published by the researchers, only eight mention the words nicotine, smoking, cigarettes or tobacco. If anything, the Minnesota research underscores a key criticism of the industry -- that it frequently focuses on the study of disease, less frequently on the study of smoking and disease.
  • 02/25/98 Tobacco Cos. File Motion For Mistrial In Minnesota Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Lawyers for tobacco companies in Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry have filed a motion seeking a mistrial. The motion, filed electronically, said non-Liggett defendants seek to exclude previously admitted exhibits from the so-called document days in the trial or in the alternative, a mistrial.
  • 02/25/98 Tobacco Lawyers Attack State's Damages Claim Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Under questioning by Philip Morris attorney Murray Garnick, biostatistician Scott Zeger acknowledged that a portion of the damages model used by the state did not include factors for prior medical history, family medical history, high blood pressure, exercise, weight and diet. Biostatistician Scott Zeger testified at the tobacco trial today. "Isn't it true that smokers tend to exercise less than nonsmokers?" Garnick asked. "I don't have expert knowledge," Zeger answered. "Isn't it true that smokers drink more alcohol than nonsmokers?" Garnick continued. "I have no knowledge," said Zeger.
  • 02/24/98 Medical Researchers Estimate Costs Of Smokers' Health Care St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A statistical model that estimates 90,000 Minnesota smokers' medical costs is so complicated that researchers developed a simplified version to explain it, a Johns Hopkins University professor said Monday. The model is central to Minnesota's claim . . . "We went out and found the best data and we tried to break the problem into sensible parts that we could attack," Professor Scott Zeger told jurors at the tobacco trial in St. Paul. Zeger, professor and chairman of the biostatistics department at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore, said he and two other researchers examined 280 million doctors' bills in Minnesota since 1978.
  • 02/24/98 Tobacco Trial Focuses On $1.77 Billion Damages Claim Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The Minnesota tobacco trial moved into the critical, and likely contentious, area of financial damages Monday as an expert witness began to outline the state's $1.77 billion claim that it is owed reimbursement for treating smoking-related illnesses. Scott Zeger, a biostatistician from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, explained to jurors in Ramsey County District Court how the state used actual medical insurance claims and behavioral health surveys to compute the damages. . . The tobacco industry claims that its own analysis will show that smokers are less costly to the health system than nonsmokers. Defense attorneys assert that the state's statistical model is flawed, resulting in incorrect conclusions from imprecise samples of the Medicaid population.
  • 02/24/98 State Explains $1.77 Billion Claim ; Statisticians Reviewed 280 Million Patient Records In Tobacco Suit AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      The state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota examined 280 million patient records to determine that tobacco companies owe them $1.77 billion, a statistician testified yesterday.
  • 02/24/98 Tobacco Industry Physician Defends Group's Smoking Research AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The head of an industry-funded research group defended his organization from claims advanced in Minnesota's tobacco trial that it is just a public relations front for cigarette makers. James Glenn, the doctor who heads the Council for Tobacco Research, sparred repeatedly with Michael Ciresi, the state's lead attorney, in two days on the stand late last week.
  • 02/24/98 Law Firm Takes Big-money Risk To Handle Tobacco Case Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Few people paid much heed 3½ years ago when Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III hired a Minneapolis law firm to sue the tobacco industry, offering the usual promise from a cash-short client. Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi would collect 25 percent of whatever it won. If it lost, it would get nothing. For the internationally known personal injury firm, accepting a contingency deal to take on an industry that no one had beaten in court for 40 years "was like putting millions of dollars down on a lottery ticket," said Humphrey aide Eric Johnson. Now, with the case in trial and the industry entering into multibillion-dollar settlements with state after state, the bet doesn't look like such a long shot.
  • 02/26/98 MINNESOTA: HUMPHREY Survives Budget Attack Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III emerged unscathed Wednesday despite attempts by Senate Republicans to cut the DFLer's budget and take away some of his authority in the state's tobacco lawsuit. Sen. Dan Stevens, R-Mora, tried to cut Humphrey's budget by almost $2 million to reduce it to the amount recommended by Gov. Arne Carlson.
  • 02/26/98 Documents Reveal Tobacco Firms' Inner Workings Over 40 Years Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 02/25/98 Jury Sees Secret Tobacco Documents AP Washington Post
      Jurors pored over formerly confidential tobacco industry documents Wednesday, learning further details about what cigarette makers knew and kept under wraps for decades. The jurors were given the entire day to examine documents from the files of the 11 defendants in Minnesota's trial of the tobacco industry.
  • 02/26/98 State Lets Jury Read Once-secret Tobacco Company Documents AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Fifteen file boxes of formerly confidential documents greeted the jurors in Minnesota' s tobacco trial when they walked into the courtroom. The boxes contained more than 270 documents from the cigarette makers' files that the jury saw for the first time Wednesday. And the jurors appeared riveted as they pored over the papers, learning further details about what the companies knew and kept under wraps for decades.
  • 02/27/98 Tobacco Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Wyant faces cross-examination by tobacco industry lawyer Peter Bierstecker. *Thursday's quote: "These are very reasonable numbers to me, in the ballpark, given the number of deaths in the U.S. attributable to smoking ." -- Wyant, defending the state's damages claim
  • 02/27/98 Statistician Defends Method Used To Figure Smoking Costs St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A statistician on Thursday defended the methodology he and others used to calculate the medical costs of health-related illnesses suffered by 90,000 Minnesota smokers since 1978. Testifying in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, Timothy Wyant responded to the tobacco industry's position that he and other researchers hired by the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota looked at the wrong data.
  • 02/27/98 Tobacco Damages Equal 7 Percent Of State's Health Care Outlay Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The state of Minnesota wants tobacco companies to reimburse it for 7 percent, or $1.31 billion, of its total expenditures for adult health care from 1978 to 1996. . . Meanwhile, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota wants cigarette makers to reimburse it for 15 percent, or $460 million, of its adult insurance payments over the 18-years. The percentage of outlays in each disease category is similar to the state's, but excludes nursing home fees.
  • 02/26/98 Statistician: Tobacco Trial Damages Based On Minnesota Records AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The state on Thursday sought to undercut what the defense has called a fundamental flaw in the way damages were estimated in Minnesota' s trial against the tobacco industry. Timothy Wyant, an independent consultant with more than 20 years of experience in statistical modeling, said he spent more than three years collecting and analyzing data from billing records of Minnesota patients.
  • 02/26/98 Tobacco Documents On BLUE CROSS Internet Site Get Worldwide Attention AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      An Internet site featuring documents from Minnesota' s tobacco trial has been a magnet for visitors from across the country and around the world in its first two weeks of operation. The site, operated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, had recorded more than 84, 000 hits since the insurance company started posting the documents Feb. 12, spokeswoman Maureen Schriner said Thursday. . . In the past week, more than 1, 600 people have viewed Trial Exhibit 10, 497, a Roper study prepared for Philip Morris in 1974 that involved smokers as young as 14 years old.
  • 03/01/98 CEOs of Two Leading Firms To Testify This Week St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Chief executives of the two largest cigarette makers are expected to testify this week in the Minnesota tobacco trial. Geoffrey C. Bible, chairman of industry-leading Philip Morris, the maker of Merit and Marlboro cigarettes, takes the stand Monday in St. Paul. "We are looking forward to Mr. Bible testifying," said Gregory Little, associate general counsel for Philip Morris. "After four weeks of listening to the state's so-called experts, I predict that Mr. Bible will be a breath of fresh air."

  • 02/28/98 Big Tobacco Challenge Led To Higher Damage Figure Knight Ridder/St. Louis Post-Dispatch
      It was a $350 million suggestion. That's how much in additional damages Minnesota is seeking from the tobacco industry because of a change in statistical method suggested by industry experts, a witness for the state testified Friday. Timothy Wyant, a statistics expert for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, told jurors in the Minnesota tobacco trial that he and two other statisticians switched to the suggested method after their original estimate on damages was questioned by industry experts last June. As a result, the estimated cost of treating smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, under Medicaid and Blue Cross jumped from the original figure of $1.42 billion to $1.77 billion, Wyant said.
  • 02/28/98 Tobacco Attorney Critiques State's Damages Model Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      If smokers are injured in an accident, suffer from mental illness or enter the hospital to donate an organ, should their treatment costs be considered smoking-related and be repaid by tobacco companies? Although those and some other health care expenditures may have nothing to do with smoking, they are part of the $1.77 billion damages claim that Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota hope to collect in the state's tobacco trial, an industry attorney tried to establish Friday. Cigarette makers hope to convince jurors that the state's damages estimate -- especially those costs attributed to general diminished health and nursing home fees -- includes wrong data and has a wide margin of error.
  • 02/28/98 Day 29: Friday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "The focus is on a best estimate, which is exactly what we have done." -- Statistician Timothy Wyant, commenting on methods used to calculate the smoking-attributable health care costs in minnesota.
  • 02/28/98 Daily Summary For Friday Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: Jurors will see a taped deposition of former Philip Morris Inc. Chief Executive Officer James Morgan. *Friday's quote: "If smokers have more car accidents than nonsmokers, the extra cost will be attributed to smoking [in the damages model], is that correct?" -- Bierstecker, questioning Wyant
  • 03/02/98 Ex-Philip Morris Exec: Co. Doesn't Mkt To Underage Smokers Dow Jones (pay registration)
      "The best thing that could happen to the company is not have kids smoke ," James Morgan said in the deposition, which was presented Monday during the trial of Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. In fact, he went on to say, "you could have 100% of 13-to-18-year-olds (and) profits wouldn't even come close to matching the depression of stock because we're accused of marketing to kids."
  • 03/02/98 P.Morris CEO -2: Bonus, Salary $3.4M In 1997 Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Early in Monday's testimony, in response to questioning, Philip Morris Chairman and Chief Executive Bible said his salary and bonus in 1997 was $3.4 million, compared with $2.85 million in 1996 and $2.65 million in 1995.
  • 03/02/98 Tobacco Head: Profits, Health Equal AP Washington Post
      Geoffrey Bible, chairman and chief executive of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., called the public health "one of the most important responsibilities I have." But making money for the company, its shareholders and its employees is equally important, he testified in Minnesota's lawsuit against tobacco companies. "I don't think I'd set money above public health," Bible said.
  • 03/02/98 Tobacco Attorney Lays Out Case Against Company Research AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In a 56-page confidential memorandum, Janet Brown worried that such research would expose the company to lawsuits. " A variety of cancers, pulmonary and circulatory diseases have long been claimed to be tobacco linked, " Brown said in the memo to Cyril Heisko, general counsel for American Tobacco. " Lung cancer, emphysema, heart and peripheral circulatory disease have already become subjects of suits, " Brown noted. " If the company can now inform itself respecting biological effects of smoking, it will be argued that it could and should have done so in all these areas years ago."
  • 03/01/98 Few Missteps For The State In Opening Weeks Of Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In six weeks, the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota have presented an aggressive and authoritative case that nicotine is addictive, that smoking is risky, and that the tobacco industry has done its best to mislead the public about a product that was described repeatedly by one witness as a "drug delivery device." They have produced a broad array of previously confidential documents from the internal files of the industry defendants. The state believes its case is going so well, in fact, that it has shortened its witness list and expects to rest -- for the time being, at least -- the week of March 9.
  • 03/01/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Key quote: "This is considered by far the most important attorney general lawsuit in the nation." -- Sean Stokes, a lawyer who observes the trial each day to make reports to one of the largest investment firms on Wall Street. *This week: Testimony will feature former and current tobacco company executives, including a taped deposition on Monday of former Philip Morris Inc. CEO James Morgan. Other witnesses: Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible and R.J. Reynolds CEO Andrew Schindler.
  • 03/03/98 Tobacco CEO Ashamed of Marketing AP Washington Post
      "The teen-age years are also important because those are the years during which most smokers begin to smoke, the years in which initial brand selections are made, and the period in the life-cycle in which conformity to peer group norms is greatest," Johnston wrote. "I'm ashamed of that, yes," Bible said in response to questioning by Michael Ciresi, lead attorney for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 03/03/98 Exec: Nicotine Just A Habit UPI
      Philip Morris chief executive Geoffrey Bible says nicotine is not "pharmacologically addictive." In testimony today in Minnesota's $1.75 billion suit against the tobacco industry, Bible said smoking is a matter behavior. Bible made a distinction between something that's "behaviorally" addictive and something that's "pharmacologically" addictive. He said, "I believe pharmacologically addictive would include markers like intoxication." He said things that are bahaviorially addictive are just habit.
  • 03/03/98 PHILIP MORRIS CEO shows jury a kinder, gentler face of Big Tobacco AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/03/98 Tobacco Executive Endures 4 Hours of Tough Questioning LA Times
  • 03/03/98 No Proof That Smoking Causes Disease, Tobacco Chief Says St. Paul Pioneer Press
      I'm unclear in my own mind whether anyone dies of cigarette smoking-related diseases," Bible told jurors at the Minnesota tobacco trial in the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul.
  • 03/03/98 An Executive Claims Uncertainty on Tobacco's Harms The New York Times
      Everyone else may believe that cigarettes kill, the world's chief cigarette maker testified on Monday, but he isn't sure. And he said he didn't want to know. "I don't know. I just don't know," said Geoffrey Bible, chairman and chief executive of Philip Morris Cos., testifying in the trial of the state of Minnesota against tobacco companies. "I believe everyone in the world believes that smoking causes disease. I don't know. There may be others who agree with me."
  • 03/03/98 Tobacco CEO Won't Make Cancer Link Washington Post
  • 03/03/98 Chairman of Philip Morris Remains Unmoved on Smoking's Health Risks The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Philip Morris Cos. Chairman Geoffrey Bible conceded to a jury here Monday that "most people in the world" know that smokers risk lung disease by lighting up, though he himself is unconvinced by any proof of a connection between the two. "I don't know if anybody has died" from smoking, Mr. Bible testified. "I just don't know."
  • 03/03/98 Day 30: Monday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "We did not look at the underage market even though I am holding a document in my hand that says we did." -- James J. Morgan, former president and CEO of Philip Morris Inc.
  • 03/03/98 PHILIP MORRIS CEO Denies That Smoking Causes Disease Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Philip Morris Companies' chief executive officer, Geoffrey Bible, repeatedly denied Monday during the Minnesota tobacco trial that smoking causes disease although he acknowledged that most of the rest of the world believes otherwise.
  • 03/03/98 Tobacco CEO Denies Smoking Causes Disease Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/03/98 PROFILE: Geoffrey C. Bible Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Quote: "Next to my wife and family, [Philip Morris stock price] is the most important thing in my life."
  • 03/05/98 Reynolds Chief Denies Marketing Tobacco To Minors Reuters
      A leading tobacco company executive strongly denied on Thursday any knowledge that his firm had marketed cigarettes to children, labeling any such effort illegal and unethical. "Company policy, which is rigorously followed and enforced, is not to market to youth," Andrew Schindler, the president and chief executive of Reynolds Tobacco Co, said in testimony at Minnesota's $1.77 billion suit against the tobacco industry. "If people in the company developed marketing plans for this age group, they were acting unethically, illegally and inappropriately," Schindler said.
  • 03/05/98 REYNOLDS CEO: Joe Camel No Influence UPI
      The head of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. says the Joe Camel advertising campaign did not influence people to start smoking. . . Schindler said, "I don't believe someone driving down the street looks at a billboard and decides they're going to smoke."
  • 03/05/98 Reynolds Exec Takes Responsibility UPI
      Andrew Schindler testified (Thursday) in Minnesota's $1.75 billion consumer fraud suit against the tobacco industry that a company has the responsibility of making sure its statements are truthful and its practices straightforward.
  • 03/05/98 Tobacco CEO Testifies at Trial AP Washington Post
      Fed up with a tobacco executive's unfamiliarity with documents in Minnesota's tobacco trial, a judge Thursday shaved three hours off the time defendants will get to present their case. . . Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick said the defense ignored his warning Tuesday to make a "good faith" effort to ensure that Bible look over the documents. He docked the defense three of their allotted 225 hours.
  • 03/05/98 Tobacco CEO, Plaintiffs' Lawyer Spar Over Merits Of National Settlement St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Jurors in the Minnesota tobacco trial heard two hours of highly charged testimony Wednesday on a subject seldom mentioned during a trial: settlement. The extraordinary turn of events began when Geoffrey C. Bible, chairman and chief executive officer of Philip Morris Cos., offered a detailed defense of a $368 billion national settlement proposal to end lawsuits like the one under way in the St. Paul courtroom. Next, the six jurors and six alternates heard an all-out assault on the proposed deal from Michael Ciresi, the lawyer representing the state attorney general and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 03/05/98 Philip Morris Head Advocates National Settlement Of Tobacco Litigation Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Bible left the witness stand late Wednesday afternoon after a session his own attorney described as "very unusual." Bible advocated congressional settlement of tobacco litigation while defending his company from charges of misconduct in Minnesota. "We believe Congress is the appropriate body to determine the future of the tobacco industry and if regulation [by the Food and Drug Administration] were to be determined, it's appropriate for Congress to do that," Bible said under questioning by Philip Morris attorney Peter Bleakley.
  • 03/04/98 Philip Morris CEO -2: Says 'Young Adult' Not A Code Phrase Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Bleakley tried to soften the jury's image of Philip Morris, portrayed by Ciresi as a greedy company that placed profits ahead of public health. Under questioning, Bible said Philip Morris engages in several philanthropic efforts, including campaigns against hunger. He also described the company's diversity committee and its efforts to hire more women. The judge allowed brief testimony on the subject after Ciresi objected that the subject was irrelevant. Bleakley said the issue is relevant because he was trying to establish the company's character.
  • 03/05/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star TribuneTobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday's quote: "My general sense was of growing public concern about the tobacco industry. That we'd become a rogue industry, that we were unregulated, were marketing to youth and acting irresponsibly." -- Bible, describing his view of the cigarette industry in 1994, when he was named CEO of Philip Morris
  • 03/05/98 Tobacco CEO Testifies at Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/05/98 Tobacco Chief Ashamed of Documents MSNBC
  • 03/04/98 Tobacco Executive Grilled on Company Smoking Memos LA Times
  • 03/04/98 Tobacco CEO `Sorry' About Youth Studies St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Bible at first said he didn't believe his company, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, ever conducted surveys of underage smokers. But Michael Ciresi, the lead attorney for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, confronted Bible with a series of the company's own reports about the youth market dating back to the 1960s. "Well, I am ashamed of this," Bible said, a phrase that he repeated. About another youth smoking research paper, he added: "I am very sorry about that."
  • 03/04/98 Tobacco Executive 'Ashamed' of Attention to Young Smokers The New York Times
      Saying he was "ashamed" and "horrified," the chief executive of Philip Morris was presented with a parade of internal documents showing that the company kept close tabs on smokers ages 12 to 18, handed out promotional T-shirts at beaches, and believed its future to be dependent on attracting young smokers.
  • 03/04/98 Day 30: Monday St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "We did not look at the underage market even though I am holding a document in my hand that says we did." -- James J. Morgan, former president and CEO of Philip Morris Inc.
  • 03/04/98 Tobacco Chief Says He's Uninformed About Many Smoking Ills Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Geoffrey Bible, the previously confident, softspoken chief executive officer of Philip Morris Companies, was transformed Tuesday into a disconnected, uninformed official who said he was unaware of the long internal debate within his company about the dangers of smoking. During a second day of aggressive cross-examination by Minnesota attorney Michael Ciresi, Bible expressed lack of knowledge on a wide range of scientific issues and said he had no idea whether company studies were made available to outside sources. Bible, who heads the world's largest cigarette company, said he didn't ask his scientific staff about smoking, nicotine and related health issues until he was subpoenaed to testify in a Florida lawsuit last year
  • 03/05/98 Joe Camel Called Cool, Role Model In Focus Groups Dow Jones (pay registration)
      During testimony of R.J. Reynolds President and Chief Executive Andrew J. Schindler, state's attorney Michael Ciresi introduced the focus group document. . . Another comment: "Sometimes I buy Camel instead of Marlboro because of the Camel guy. Big billboards, it's everywhere, magazines too ... I look forward to new ones. He's a partying dude, (he's) laid back. Women are swarming around him."
  • 03/06/98 Tobacco Cos Punished For Not Preparing Philip Morris CEO Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Cigarette makers will have three fewer hours to present their case in Minnesota's trial against the industry because the head of Philip Morris Cos. (MO) didn't review designated internal documents before testifying this week.
  • 03/07/98 Witnesses Differ In Interpreting Tobacco Data St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Cigarette smoking is an epidemic among young people -- and internal research by the tobacco industry shows it targeted underage smokers, a University of Minnesota professor told a St. Paul jury Friday. "It is a large problem -- it is widespread," said Cheryl L. Perry, a professor in the school of health sciences' division of epidemiology.
  • 03/07/98 Tobacco Company Memo At Odds With Knowledge Of Smoking Risk Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Decades after internal industry research showed that cigarettes contain ingredients that cause disease, tobacco companies still weren't revealing much about the potential hazards to the public. "Despite all the research going on, the simple and unfortunate fact is that scientists do not know the cause or causes of the chronic diseases reported to be associated with smoking," a public relations manager from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. wrote in a 1988 letter to Bloomington resident Elaine Olson.
  • 03/06/98 Smoking Considered Epidemic Among Youth, Expert Says Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Smoking is considered an epidemic among youth and adolescents don't understand the consequences of smoking, a professor who's an expert on youth tobacco use testified here Friday. Cheryl Perry, a professor at the epidemiology division in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, who was the senior scientific editor of the 1994 U.S. Surgeon General report on preventing tobacco use among young people, said that nearly all first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation.
  • 03/06/98 Joe Camel To Hang Around Despite RJR Pledge To End Ads Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 03/06/98 Joe Camel to Be Around Until Sept AP Washington Post
      "There still could be a few pieces lying around there, but Joe's off the broad public landscape," Schindler said. "It was very open that we would have this retrospective Camel Cash catalog." Reynolds brought out the catalog in February to offer collectibles featuring Camel cigarette advertising back to 1913, when the brand was introduced. Eight of the catalog's 30 pages are devoted to "The Joe Years." It includes money clips, dartboards, ashtrays, neon signs, salt and pepper shakers, tumblers, lighters, T-shirts, can huggers and collector plates emblazoned with Joe's image. "Joe may be gone, but he won't be forgotten," the catalog says of "The Illustrated History of Joe," a book featuring the best of Joe Camel ads. The book costs $34 or coupons from 175 cigarette packs, plus postage and handling.
  • 03/06/98 Tobacco Chief Earns Sanctions Washington Post
      Because the head of America's largest cigarette maker failed to do his homework before testifying in Minnesota's tobacco trial, all the defendants were docked some time to make their case. Geoffrey Bible, chief executive of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., said repeatedly he had not reviewed the formerly secret documents from his company that the plaintiffs had expected him to study. Following him on the witness stand was Andrew Schindler, the head of America's No. 2 tobacco company, who expressed frustration Thursday at the large volume of documents the state had wanted him to read. "So many documents," said a weary Schindler, president and CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
  • 03/06/98 Youth Tobacco Marketing Denied St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The head of the company that created Joe Camel sat before a jury Thursday, thumbed through internal studies about smokers as young as 12 and said he never marketed cigarettes to children. Andrew J. Schindler, president and chief executive officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., was the second tobacco company chief to be grilled at the Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul. "I think it is wrong, frankly stupid and unnecessary," said Schindler, when confronted with internal documents from the 1970s concerning Reynolds' share of the underage smoker market.
  • 03/06/98 Summary Of Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday's quote: "I'm embarrassed for the company. I think it's wrong. It's stupid. We don't track 14-to 17-year-olds today . . . . . If someone said, 'Andy, here's a way to get 14-year-olds,' they'd be in serious trouble." -- Schindler, after reviewing a 1980 report to a former RJR president about teens and cigarettes.
  • 03/06/98 Youths and smoking dominate again at tobacco trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In the face of apparently contradictory evidence, the nation's top tobacco executives continue to insist that their companies have not, do not and will not market cigarettes to minors. The latest to do so was Andrew Schindler, chief executive officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., who testified in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday that "it's not the right thing to do."
  • 03/06/98 PROFILE: ANDREW J. SCHINDLER Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Unusual occurrence: A cigarette discarded by a construction worker was thought to have caused a 1997 fire that destroyed Schindler's luxury vacation beach home on Figure Eight Island near Wilmington, N.C. The fire caused about $1 million in damages to Schindler's home and to n eighboring houses.
  • 03/09/98 Minnesota State Judge Orders Release of Tobacco Documents The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Late Sunday, however, a Minnesota appeals court issued a temporary order blocking disclosure of the documents to the state until the tobacco companies have an opportunity to appeal. The appeals court gave the tobacco companies until 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time Monday to file briefs and the state until Tuesday to respond. The records are to remain under seal until used in court, if the appeals panel allows it. . . Since the 1970s, Mr. Gehan said, tobacco companies have researched more sophisticated ways to manipulate "the addictive potential of cigarettes." These include using etorphine, described in a 1977 document from Brown & Williamson files as "10,000 times as effective an analgesic as morphine and has addictive characteristics." Philip Morris, Mr. Gehan said, studied the compound acetaldehyde in 1982, after finding that it "readily penetrates the blood-brain barrier" and had a "reinforcing effect" on nicotine. At Reynolds, levulinic acid was found in 1988 "to enhance the binding of nicotine to nicotine receptors in rat brain membrane." Both acetaldehyde and levulinic acid have been used in commercial brands, Mr. Gehan wrote.
  • 03/08/98 Judge Orders Major Tobacco Disclosures St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A St. Paul judge on Saturday ordered the disclosure of 39,000 confidential tobacco-industry documents and said one cigarette maker used attorney-client privilege to shield research about children as young as 5.
  • 03/08/98 Tobacco Firms Ordered to Turn Over Documents Washington Post
      The tobacco industry must turn over more than 39,000 highly sensitive internal documents to Minnesota because the documents show a pattern of fraud and deception by cigarette companies, a judge has ruled. One document cited by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick refers to studies of smoking habits in children as young as 5.
  • 03/08/98 Judge Orders Release Of 39,000 Secret Tobacco Documents Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      A spokesman for the industry denounced the ruling. "It's simply wrong on a number of legal issues," Michael York, an attorney for Philip Morris Inc., said Saturday. "It's another example of the court ruling on the basis of so-called tobacco law -- where an industry is so unpopular that it has a law onto itself."
  • 03/07/98 Judge Wants Tobacco Papers Released AP Washington Post
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick wrote that the industry, which had already released 33 million pages in the case, falsely claimed attorney-client privilege to keep the documents private. "Upon review of randomly selected documents, it has been determined that defendants have in numerous instances claimed privilege where none is due and blatantly abused the categorization process," Fitzpatrick wrote. The 39,000 documents were ordered released by Monday to the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which are suing tobacco companies. "These documents are the beginning of the tobacco industry's worst nightmare," Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said.
  • 03/07/98 Document: Potential Smoking Habits Of 5-Year-olds Reviewed CNN
  • 03/08/98 Tobacco On Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week: Jurors will hear more from youth smoking expert Cheryl Perry, a professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. The next witness is Robert Dolan, a professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business and an expert on advertising, marketing and promotion.

  • 03/09/98 How Tobacco Firms and the Web Created a New Day in Disclosure Washington Post
      A little over a week ago, an amazing thing happened online. A "first installment" of millions of pages of internal tobacco industry documents hit the World Wide Web on an industry-created Web site. More than 30 million pages of industry documents have been collected by the state of Minnesota and that state's Blue Cross and Blue Shield in their landmark lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The companies agreed to make the documents public, in the biggest way. These days, that means online. Anyone with a computer, a modem and the right software could peek into 60 years of history behind what must be America's most controversial industry -- a capability no other mass medium can practicably offer.

  • 03/09/98 Tobacco Industry's Web Site Offers Some Intriguing Reading Richmond Times-Dispatch
      It's not as gripping as a John Grisham novel, but the tobacco industry's new Internet Web site does provide some intriguing reading. In 1988, for instance, Philip Morris USA was trying to develop a catchy advertising campaign for a new Merit cigarette that was nearly devoid of nic otine, one document on the Web site says. Even then, the Rich mond-area's largest pri vate employer was grap pling with difficult is sues of image, science and consumer prefer ence, the company memo shows. At focus groups held in New York City on Jan. 28, 1988, the memo says, "Most respondents, claiming to be aware of what nicotine is, identified it as the addictiveness element in cigarettes."
  • 03/09/98 Youth Smoking Expert Says Tobacco Ads Target Peer Groups Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A 1986 RJR Nabisco document regarding development strategies for a new advertising campaign for Camel cigarettes says, "Overall, Camel advertising will be directed toward using peer acceptance/influence to provide the motivation for target smokers to select Camel." Under a heading "strategic approach," the document states in part that the strategy will "leverage the nonconformist, self-confident mind-set historically attributed to the Camel user to address target smokers' desire to project an image that elevates them in the eyes of their peers."
  • 03/09/98 Minn. May Call Witnesses Back After Judge's Document Order Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A judge's order to release thousands of documents that tobacco companies had claimed as privileged may result in the return of some witnesses to the stand in Minnesota's trial against the industry. Michael Ciresi, the state's lead attorney, told reporters Monday morning he wished the documents had been made available earlier in the trial, which is now entering its seventh week here.
  • 03/09/98 Tobacco Companies Win Document Reprieve UPI
  • 03/09/98 Court Delays Release Of Tobacco Industry Documents An appeals court on Monday ordered Reuters
      a delay in the release of thousands of tobacco industry documents sought by the state of Minnesota in its $1.77 billion lawsuit against cigarette makers. The Minnesota Court of Appeals gave the tobacco companies until the close of business Monday to file briefs explaining why the documents should not be released, and told the state it had until the close of business Tuesday to file a response.
  • 03/09/98 Witness: Kids See Cigarettes on TV AP Washington Post
      Jed Clampett's jalopy passes a Winston cigarette truck at the start of "The Beverly Hillbillies" and the show's theme song ends with the company's slogan: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." Winston sponsored the 1960s family series on CBS. By integrating commercial information into the show, "a young person would begin to see smoking, or Winstons, as a part of normal life," said Cheryl Perry, an expert on youth smoking, as she testified Monday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. Such information, she said, plays an important role in a youngster's decision to begin smoking. She also cited commercials for cigarettes featuring characters from "The Flintstones" and the Marlboro man and print ads for Camel cigarettes featuring the cartoon character Joe Camel.
  • 03/09/98 Philip Morris to Appeal Minnesota Ruling NPR
      A lawyer for cigarette maker Philip Morris said Sunday that the company will challenge a court ruling ordering the release of thousands of secret internal documents, saying the ruling is "wrong in the law."
  • 03/09/98 Tobacco Industry Wins Reprieve CNN
      The industry has until 4:30 p.m. Monday to file a petition stating why it believes Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick erred in ruling that the 39,000 documents should be made available to the state, Ciresi said.
  • 03/08/98 Tobacco Firms Ordered to Give Up Secret Files LA Times
  • 03/09/98 Tobacco CEOs Haunted by Own Words AP Washington Post
      When confronted with some of the most incriminating passages in the documents, particularly about youth smoking, Bible over and over said he was "embarrassed" or "shocked." But his stock response came to be: "I am ashamed."

  • 03/10/98 For Someone Who Isn't Trying, This Guy Sure Has His Admirers The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Last week, with the trial in its sixth week in state court in St. Paul, Minn., plaintiffs entered into evidence focus-group interviews conducted in 1991 for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The company had hired a consulting firm to interview Camel smokers in the Dallas area to better understand the popularity of Joe Camel among 18 to 34 year olds. . . "He's a rebel in a good sense -- a free spirit who does what he's in the mood to do but not at the expense of others. I think he'd go out of his way not to hurt someone else." * "Basically, he'd be there for you." * "Gives guys hope that one day, if they make it, they can do whatever they enjoy most."
  • 03/10/98 Expert Witness Admits Data Lacking On Ads-Smoking Link Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Perry, who oversaw the Surgeon General's report, described it as a conservative scientific document. The report "states that advertising and promotions affect the pervasiveness, the image and function, which in turn affects youth smoking," she said. "That's a causal link. We didn't use the actual word 'causal' because we wanted more data."
  • 03/10/98 Two Fronts At Tobacco Trial _ Documents And Testimony AP
      Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble and Jed Clampett: In their day, they were pitch men for cigarettes, just like Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man. . . In one ad that accompanied an episode of the cartoon show "The Flintstones," Fred and Barney sneak behind the house and smoke Winstons while Wilma mows the lawn. A satisfied Fred says, "Yeah, Barney, Winston tastes good like a cigarette should."
  • 03/10/98 Joe Camel Wooed Young Smokers St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Two years before introducing Joe Camel, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. officials concluded the cigarette's new advertising pitch should exploit peer pressure among young people, according to a secret memo disclosed Monday. . . Another document introduced at the trial said William Esty advertising agency analyzed research on high school smokers as early as 1958
  • 03/10/98 Youth Smoking Expert: Tobacco Long Has Sought Young Customers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Cigarette advertising aimed at teenagers is potent, pervasive and influential, a youth smoking expert testified in the Minnesota tobacco trial Monday.
  • 03/12/98 R.J. Reynolds Ex-Scientist: 'Mouse House' Work Preliminary Dow Jones (pay registration)
      In the videotape, which was shown to the jurors, the scientist, Murray Senkus, wouldn't respond directly when asked if he had seen a document that said the experiments had produced emphysema in rats, saying only "that's what the report says."
  • 03/12/98 Tobacco Lawyers Demand New Judge St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "This court has made clear that it cannot and will not give these defendants a fair trial," said the motion signed by Peter Sipkins, a Minneapolis attorney for Philip Morris. . . Ironically, Fitzpatrick gets to rule on the matter. If he denies the motion, the industry can appeal to Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen and the Minnesota Appeals Court.
  • 03/12/98 4 Tobacco Firms Seek a Mistrial LA Times
  • 03/12/98 Tobacco Lawyers Fault Minn Judge AP Washington Post
      If Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick doesn't agree to remove himself, the defendants want him to declare a mistrial. "This court has made clear that it cannot and will not give these defendants a fair trial," the 50-page motion said. "The court has clearly prejudiced the merits and plainly demonstrated bias by repeatedly directing hostile language at the defendants."
  • 03/12/98 Tobacco Defendants Call For Mistrial, Want Judge To Step Down Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Three weeks of mounting frustration with the rulings, comments and demeanor of Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick prompted tobacco industry lawyers Wednesday to seek his removal and start over with a new trial. . . Philip Morris Inc. attorney Peter Sipkins said the move was unprecedented in an ongoing trial in Minnesota but was necessary because of "a continued and clear indication of bias" on Fitzpatrick's part.
  • 03/12/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday's quote: "The rulings, conduct, and commentary by the court have created an atmosphere that has been unfairly prejudicial and effectively destroyed the right of these defendants to a fair trial." -- from the motion for recusal and/or mistrial, filed Wednesday morning
  • 03/11/98 Capsule St. Paul Pioneer Press St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Quote "When you ask smokers why they started smoking, the answer almost uniformly relates to peers, friends and family, right?" --Robert Weber, attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., when confronting Perry.
  • 03/11/98 Lead Tobacco Attorney Speaks Out About Trial Grievances Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "Whatever you may think of tobacco companies," Bleakley says, "they are entitled to all the same protections in this courtroom as anyone else -- and they're not getting them. All rules have been suspended because these are the reviled tobacco companies."
  • 03/11/98 Youth Smoking Expert Faces Tobacco Cross-examination Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "It [advertising] affects the perception of pervasiveness. It affects self-image," Perry said. "Advertising and promotion are affecting kids and they're starting to smoke."
  • 03/11/98 Tuesday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/11/98 Witness, Tobacco Attorney at Odds AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      [Weber] tried to get Perry to say advertising was only a risk factor, not a cause of teen smoking. "Not only a risk factor," Perry responded. "We felt it was an important factor in influencing young people to smoke." Weber asked, "Isn't it true that nowhere is it stated that advertising is a 'cause' of smoking initiation?" "No, I wouldn't agree with that," Perry said. "We weren't ready to use that word, 'causal,' which is a very powerful word, because we wanted more data. We have that data now." PERRY STRESSED that the surgeon-general's report is a conservative document. "It's not an advocacy piece. We were very careful."
  • 03/13/98 Fight Brewing In Tobacco Trial UPI
      Attorneys in Minnesota's $1.75 billion consumer fraud suit against the tobacco industry are trying to decide whether to compel the testimony of a lawyer who was a major player in the development of health related research by cigarette makers. JANET BROWN has said she does not want to testify in the month-old trial _ either in person or by videotape. Her name came up during Thursday's court proceedings in connection with a document released at the trial. That document proposed finding people to testify on behalf of the tobacco industry.

  • 03/13/98 Web Site Posts Tobacco Trial Transcripts Despite Legal Threat AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      An attorney representing Stirewalt & Associates, a Minneapolis company that does court reporting, sent a letter Tuesday to the Putnam Pit, in Cookeville, Tenn., asking it to stop posting the transcripts, claiming Stirewalt had "a contractual and proprietary interest" in the material. The letter offered to drop legal action if publisher Geoff Davidian disclosed his source for the transcripts.
    Here's the Letter to Davidian
  • 03/13/98 Firm Sought Competitor's Data On Top Cigarette St. Paul Pioneer Press
      As Marlboro soared in popularity in the early 1980s, a competitor gathered intelligence on Philip Morris and concluded its extensive health research program helped it design the top-selling cigarette. The intelligence-gathering effort was disclosed in a document introduced Thursday in the Minnesota tobacco trial. The document is a written draft of a 1983 presentation prepared by two R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. scientists. . . "The available evidence indicates that PM has [a] substantial effort ongoing in the smoking-health area," the document says. "However, we suspect that information publicly available or gained by `intelligence' techniques represents only the `tip of the iceberg.' "
  • 03/13/98 Trial Focuses On Health Research AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      Philip Morris was researching the effects of cigarette smoke on animals when it criticized a competitor for violating a gentlemen's agreement not to do such research, according to a document introduced yesterday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. Researchers Alan Rodgman and F.G. Colby of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. analyzed Philip Morris research from the mid-1960s in a written draft for a company presentation in 1983.
  • 03/13/98 Tobacco Tells Why Research Was Stopped, Kept Secret Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco industry scientists were conducting health-related studies in the late 1960s and early 1970s that began to show health side effects from smoking but either suspended research or kept results internal. However, top scientists for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and American Tobacco Co. testified in the state of Minnesota's smoking-and-health case Thursday that preliminary results of their research were inconclusive.
  • 03/12/98 You Decide! Great approach from the St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Does cigarette marketing encourage teens to start smoking? The Pioneer Press put the case to a youth jury, and here's your chance to voice your verdict. . . Consider the evidence Here are court documents and statements from both sides in Minnesota's case against the tobacco industry.
    You can Vote and View the Results Here and then discuss
  • 03/14/98 Firm Proposed Smoking Less, Inhaling Less St. Paul Pioneer Press
      It may be the most practical health advice ever offered to cigarette smokers: Inhale as little as possible. Unfortunately, this suggestion by two scientists got stamped "Strictly Confidential" by a tobacco company, and didn't see the light of day for years. That changed on Friday as more than 150 tobacco industry documents were introduced in bulk at the Minnesota tobacco trial.
  • 03/14/98 Jurors Review Documents While Lawyers Argue Procedure Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/14/98 Documents Are Read And Argued Over At Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      More than 150 internal memos, reports and studies were handed to jurors, who convened in a vacant courtroom to read the material under the eyes of court security personnel and representatives from both sides. It was the trial's second such "document day." Down the hallway attorneys for the industry, the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota sparred over public access to a document depository located in Minneapolis and the records of a Kansas City law firm with a long history of representing tobacco companies in litigation.
  • 03/14/98 Tobacco On Trial/ Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week: The state is expected to rest its case by week's end, after calling five more witnesses, including experts on antitrust economics, tobacco industry finances and advertising
  • 03/14/98 Tobacco Daily Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: Video deposition of Roger Black, a tobacco company "leaf technology" director, followed by live testimony of Harvard University professor Robert Dolan, an expert on marketing and advertising. * Friday's quote: "Despite some thoughts, I'm not that bad a guy." -- Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, letting lawyers out early on Friday
  • 03/17/98 Philip Morris Document: Co. Couldn't Rely Solely On Teens Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A Philip Morris Cos. (MO) document reviewed by a Harvard business professor who is testifying in Minnesota's tobacco trial concluded that the company couldn't rely simply on teen-agers to replace the number of smokers lost through attrition. Testifying Tuesday at the trial, Robert Dolan said the document concluded that the number of teens - defined as those age 15 to 19 - who smoke was declining, that there was a decline in consumption and that the company couldn't rely on that age group to replace lost smokers.
  • 03/17/98 Tobacco firm official takes Fifth Amendment
      During his deposition, Roger R. Black, leaf blending director for the Louisville, Ky.-based cigarette maker, refused to answer a question about shipping high-nicotine tobacco seed to Brazil, where it reportedly was planted and grown. Black said that his answer "may tend to incriminate me," so he invoked his constitutional right not to answer. His lawyer said Black may be a witness or subject of a grand jury investigation into the high-nicotine Y-1 plant.
  • 03/17/98 Cigarette Makers Seek Brand Loyalty At Young Age, Expert Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Robert Dolan of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business told jurors that young adults are the industry's main source of replacement smokers for those who quit or die. "If you can get a person to adopt your brand, it'll be easier to keep them," Dolan said. "You attract them at the very earliest opportunity and reap the benefits as consumption increases over time." Testimony was cut short Monday afternoon when a juror became ill and had to leave the courtroom.
  • 03/16/98 Brown & Williamson Official Testifies On Use Of High-nicotine Tobacco AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Also Monday, Ramsey County Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick rejected tobacco companies' motion that he withdraw from the case or declare a mistrial. The defendants argued last week that Fitzpatrick was biased against them. Fitzpatrick made no comment in a brief one-sentence ruling.
  • 03/16/98 Most Smokers Wish They'd Never Started, Witness Says CNN
      Most smokers wish they had never started smoking and that they could kick the habit, and all show an unusually strong brand loyalty, a plaintiff's witness testified in the Minnesota tobacco trial Monday. Marketing professor Robert Dolan of Harvard Graduate School of Business told the court that those factors make cigarette smokers different from consumers of other products.
  • 03/16/98 Official Defends Nicotine Levels AP Washington Post
      The head of leaf blending for the country's third-largest cigarette maker denied Monday that his company was trying to hook more smokers when it created a high-nicotine cigarette. In videotaped testimony played Monday, Roger Black of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. said the Y-1 project was conceived in the 1980s to reduce tar, not increase nicotine. "I do not like the word manipulation, but I would agree that definitely our original intention with Y-1 in cigarettes was to use it to alter the tar-and-nicotine ratio," Black said in a deposition taken Jan. 16. "We were looking at it as more of a tar reduction tool."
  • 03/16/98 High-nicotine Tobacco Used In Cigarettes UPI
      Asked if the creation of Y-1 tobacco constitutes manipulation of nicotine, Black said, "I don't really agree with that statement."
  • 03/16/98 Tobacco On Trial/ Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week: The state is expected to rest its case by week's end, after calling five more witnesses, including experts on antitrust economics, tobacco industry finances and advertising.
  • 03/16/98 Minnesota' S Tobacco Trial Enters Eighth Week Of Testimony Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Their attorneys expected to provisionally rest their case against the tobacco industry around midweek. But they also planned to come back later in the trial and present evidence gleaned from 39, 000 confidential documents ordered released by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick on March 3.
  • 03/15/98 Tobacco Attorneys Say Judge In Error; Rules On What Witness Can Say Are In Dispute AP/Raleigh News & Observer
      It's known as Rule 602, and it's supposed to determine exactly what a witness can testify about in a court of law. . . In a case that depends largely on industry documents, Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick has made it clear he expects witnesses to be familiar with the plaintiffs' exhibits before testifying. . . The tobacco industry cites the judge's apparent disregard of Rule 602, one of Minnesota's Rules of Evidence, as one reason he should remove himself from the case or declare a mistrial.
  • 03/18/98 Judges Reject Big Tobacco's Effort To Shield Documents St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 03/18/98 Appeals Court Upholds Judge's Release Of Tobacco Documents Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In its order Tuesday, the appeals panel, lead by Appeals Court Chief Judge Edward Toussaint, determined that the tobacco industry had adequate opportunities to present evidence about the appropriateness of attorney-client privilege in earlier proceedings and failed to demonstrate any legal errors in the review process. "[Defendants] have not established that specific documents are clearly not discoverable, that the remedies afforded them are or were inadequate, or that the trial court exceeded its legitimate powers . . . " the court said, adding that it had rejected a similar appeal by the industry on other documents.
  • 03/18/98 Court: Release Tobacco Documents AP Washington Post
      The big tobacco companies must turn over 39,000 fiercely protected documents for use in Minnesota's lawsuit against them, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The court said the documents must be released by noon Thursday unless the Minnesota Supreme Court grants a stay. The three-judge panel denied the defendants' claim of attorney-client privilege for the documents.
  • 03/18/98 Tobacco Cos. to Fight Court Ruling AP Washington Post
      "We are going to ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop this and take a look at it right now," Robert Weber, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds, said.
  • 03/17/98 Court Orders Tobacco Industry To Turn Over Documents CNN
  • 03/17/98 Court Orders Release Of Tobacco Industry Documents Reuters
      The Minnesota Appeals Court on Tuesday ordered the major tobacco companies being sued in a landmark state case to turn over 39,000 highly sensitive documents they had determinedly fought to keep secret. RJR Nabisco lawyer Robert Weber called the decision "fundamentally improper" and said the companies would appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
  • 03/17/98 Tobacco Cos. Lose Document Appeal UPI
  • 03/17/98 Statement By ANDY CZAJKOWSKI Regarding Ruling By Court of Appeals On Attorney-Client Privileged Documents Blue Cross/Blue Shield Business Wire
  • 03/17/98 Judge Denies Tobacco Cos' Motion For Mistrial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick denied a request by tobacco companies that he declare a mistrial in Minnesota's case against the industry and remove himself from the proceedings. The judge made his ruling on the motion without comment late Monday.

  • 03/18/98 ONLINE TRANSCRIPTS BRING THREATS Publisher Posts Tobacco Trial Data Editor & Publisher
      A Tennessee alternative newspaper, which is posting the transcripts of a trial between the State of Minnesota and tobacco companies on its Web site, has been told to stop or face possible legal action. . . Wendy R. Leibowitz, the technology editor for the National Law Journal, a weekly legal newspaper, argues the transcripts should not be posted because of the way they were obtained. "The reasons for not posting the transcripts has little to do with the fact that they can't be verified. It has to do with the fact that they were possibly obtained illegally, and they are unauthorized versions of what occurred. The newspaper subjects itself to legal liability," said Leibowitz. "It also reaps a great deal of publicity and can spout off about the First Amendment."
  • 03/18/98 Tobacco Daily Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tuesday's quote: "Many of these smokers are victims of pressure from peers and loved ones to quit or reduce smoking. Therefore, they smoke ULT [ultra low-tar] brands to 'get people off their backs.' They are referred to as the 'get-off-my-backers,' " the memo said.
  • 03/19/98 Tobacco Industry Gets Reprieve AP Washington Post
  • 03/19/98 Tobacco Docs Remain Secret, For Now UPI
  • 03/19/98 Minnesota Court Blocks Tobacco Documents Release Reuters
      The court acted an hour before a deadline set by a lower court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, for release of 39,000 files that the court had ruled earlier in the week were not privileged, or full of trade secrets, as the industry had claimed. The order means that the disposition of the documents, which are also under subpoena by the U.S. Congress, will not be decided until the state Supreme Court rules on the over-all issue.
  • 03/17/98 MAR 17 FITZPATRICK Order forcing release of 39,000 Documents
      IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 1. The petitions in CX-98-414 and CX-98-431 are consolidated. 2. The petitions and motions of the parties are denied. 3. This order shall be effective at noon on Thursday, March 19, 1998, unless a stay is granted by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

  • 03/19/98 Economist: Tobacco Firms Sought To Stifle Competition St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Saying he was more accustomed to a blackboard than the witness stand, an economics professor brought the arcane world of antitrust law to life Wednesday trying to prove that the major tobacco companies conspired to suppress competition and protect their industry. Antitrust expert Adam Jaffe testified that because of the collusion, no tobacco company had ever produced a "safe" cigarette, even though several had researched the idea and consumers wanted one.
  • 03/19/98 Wednesday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Jaffe's testimony continues, with cross-examination by tobacco attorneys . . . Wednesday's quote: "I would have expected to see companies devote large resources to develop a product that consumers wanted -- a cigarette that is less harmful." -- Jaffe, referring to his assertion that cigarette companies conspired to keep a safer cigarette off the market
  • 03/19/98 Tobacco Companies Conspired On Health Issues, Expert Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The tobacco industry found itself fighting on two fronts Wednesday as it faced assertions of collusion and conspiracy in Minnesota's smoking -and-health trial. Outside the courtroom, the industry asked the state Supreme Court to suspend an order requiring it to turn over thousands of sensitive internal documents by noon today.
  • 03/19/98 Antitrust Expert Says Cigarette Companies Collude As Well As Compete AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco companies frequently say they' re in a brutally competitive business. An antitrust expert testified, though, that the cigarette business includes collusion as well as competition. Attorneys for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota put Adam Jaffe, an economics professor from Brandeis University, on the stand Wednesday to back up their contention that the tobacco companies have engaged in an antitrust conspiracy in violation of state law.
  • 03/20/98 Disclosure Of Tobacco Documents Put On Hold St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The ruling prompted a flurry of legal filings Wednesday by both sides in the trial. The state Supreme Court granted the stay at mid-morning, and the court will hear arguments on the issue later and rule. It didn't say when.
  • 03/20/98 Humphrey Says A Few More Days Won't Matter In Tobacco Document Battle Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "We' ve been fighting 3 1/2 years and a few more days isn' t going to make any difference, " Humphrey said.
  • 03/20/98 Tobacco Companies Win Court Stay Over Document Release Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/21/98 No-Show Witnesses Hurt Tobacco Co AP Washington Post
  • 03/21/98 Witness: Tobacco Conspiracy Drove Up Medical Costs Economist Alleges Safer Cigarettes Kept Off The Market St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "From everything I've seen, the impact on the market would have been significant," testified Adam Jaffe, an economist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. "If the competitive restraint was not in place, we would have seen a market for cigarettes today that would have been significantly different than the one that emerged. "The effect would have been that the engine of economic progress would have operated in this industry. We would have seen signs of it in a broader number of products and much more information in deciding which of those products to use."
  • 03/21/98 Tobacco Daily Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: The state is expected to call its final witnesses, including research scientist GARY HUBER and tobacco industry financial analyst PAUL MUCH. *Friday's quote: "The logical inference is they concluded they couldn't exploit it [the new safer cigarette] because of the [industry's] implicit agreement." -- Adam Jaffe, referring to his assertion that tobacco companies conspired to keep a safer cigarette off the market
  • 03/21/98 Safer Cigarettes Deliberately Kept Off Market, Expert Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Cigarette manufacturers believed safer cigarettes would be commercially successful but they failed to develop such a product because of an implicit agreement within the tobacco industry not to use health as a marketing issue, an antitrust expert said Friday.
  • 03/20/98 Antitrust Expert Says Tobacco Collusion Increases Health Care Costs AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Collusion among the cigarette companies results in higher health care costs for Minnesota, an antitrust expert testified Friday in the state' s lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
  • 03/23/98 Tobacco Lawyer Says Minnesota, AMA, Fought 'Safe' Cigarette Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies spent millions of dollars and obtained dozens of patents in developing safer cigarettes, but government agencies and nonprofit groups fought their efforts, Philip Morris Cos. (MO) lawyer Peter Bleakley alleged Monday in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry. While cross-examining antitrust expert and Brandeis University economics Professor Adam Jaffe, Bleakley said, as an example, that the American Medical Association and the Minnesota Department of Health opposed a safer cigarette made by R.J. Reynolds.
  • 03/24/98 U Profs To Testify On Behalf Of Tobacco St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Hyman Berman, probably the best-known of a handful of University of Minnesota professors testifying in the landmark tobacco trial, is scheduled to take the stand this week as a witness for the tobacco industry, but the state is trying to bar him. Berman, a history professor at the university since 1961, is slated to be the first defense witness and would discuss his research on the relationship between smoking and health in Minnesota. Berman said he has been gathering information on the subject for three years and expects to write a book. But lawyers for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota argued in motion papers filed late Sunday that Berman's testimony should be excluded because his opinion that Minnesotans have long known of the perils of smoking is irrelevant.
  • 03/24/98 Witness: Tobacco Cos. Net $1.85B AP
      An investment banker called as an expert witness in Minnesota's tobacco trial said the state's smokers spent $14 billion on cigarettes and gave the industry $1.85 billion in profits from 1954 through 1996.
  • 03/24/98 Analyst Pegs Tobacco Profit In Minnesota St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Minnesota stores sold 348 billion cigarettes from 1954 to 1996, generating $1.8 billion in operating profits for U.S. tobacco companies, a financial expert testified Monday. The profit estimate is slightly more than the $1.77 billion the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are seeking in smokers' health care costs from 1978 to 1996.
  • 03/24/98 Tobacco Profits From Minnesota Put At $1.85 Billion For 1954-1996 AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Minnesota smokers spent $14 billion to buy 348 billion cigarettes from 1954 through 1996, an expert witness testified. And those sales generated $1.85 billion in profits for the cigarette companies from Minnesota alone in those 42 years, financial analyst Paul Much told the jury in the state' s tobacco trial.
  • 03/23/98 Tobacco Cos. Enjoying Big Profits, Expert Tells Minn. Jury Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The cigarette industry has enjoyed a long history of stable and growing profits, a financial analyst testified Monday in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry here. Paul J. Much, senior managing director at Houlihan Lokey Hovard & Zukin, testified about the profitability of the tobacco industry. Houlihan is a Chicago-based investment bank. Much said he specializes in financial evaluation of businesses. Much's testimony is expected to help determine punitive damages in the lawsuit.
  • 03/24/98 Minnesota's Tobacco Trial Turning to Defense Christian Science Monitor
  • 03/23/98 Judge Lets Tobacco Co. Appeal Order AP
      A judge gave a British company and its tobacco subsidiaries a five-day reprieve Monday so they can appeal his order that they turn over more than 2,000 confidential documents.
  • 03/23/98 Lawyers For Tobacco Companies Get To Tell Their Side This Week Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "It' s painful to have to sit for so many weeks and listen to nothing except the other side."
  • 03/22/98 The Odd Days And News-free Nights Of Tobacco Trial Jurors Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Juror nine sits in the middle of the front row, often with a look of bemusement around her mouth and eyes as she listens to testimony about smoking, health and corporate ethics. She's one of 12 anonymous people, their names replaced with numbers, who have been selected to decide one of the most monumental tort cases in Minnesota history. To reporters in the courtroom, she's known as "Free Spirit," from a description she offered of herself during jury selection. She's semi-retired; she quit smoking 33 years ago, and although she believes smoking is addictive, she pledged to keep an open mind during the trial. There are nicknames for the others, too, and background information. But the reality is that very little is known about this jury.
  • 03/22/98 Trial In Review St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Minnesota lawyers plan to rest their case against Big Tobacco this week. The defense by five cigarette makers and the industry's trade and research groups likely will take another month of testimony in the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul.
  • 03/22/98 Industry Preparing Rebuttal St. Paul Pioneer Press
      When three British tobacco industry scientists embarked in 1958 for a business trip to the United States and Canada, they couldn't have dreamed that 40 years later people still would talk about their visit. . . the three British scientists in April and May 1958 visited more than 30 top researchers at universities, government agencies, private laboratories, Philip Morris, American Tobacco Co. and Liggett & Meyers. Afterward, the British scientists wrote: "With one exception (a Harvard University researcher) the individuals whom we met believed that smoking causes lung cancer if by `causation' we mean any chain of events which leads finally to lung cancer and which involves smoking as an indispensable link."
  • 03/22/98 Tobacco Trial Judge Rebukes Firms Over Failure To Produce Key Witnesses Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Angered by more than a year's delay in the production of two key witnesses, Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick rebuked the British-American Tobacco Co. (BATCo) and a related company Saturday and threatened to tell the jury about three destroyed cases of sensitive corporate documents. He said failure by BATCo and B.A.T. Industries to produce Ray Thornton and Alan Heard, top ex-BATCo researchers, has harmed Minnesota's attempt to obtain evidence . . . and said BATCo could not object to documents associated with Thornton and Heard that might be entered as evidence by the state. He also removed claims of attorney-client privilege on several thousand documents "authored by, received by, or copied to" Heard or Thornton.
  • 03/23/98 Judge: Tobacco Firms Didn't Do Enough To Produce Witnesses CNN
  • 03/25/98 Humphrey Co-Authored Bill On Smoking In Schools, Prof. Says Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A 1973 bill that would have created smoking areas in Minnesota's high schools may come back to haunt its co-author, Hubert H. Humphrey III, who is now state attorney general. . . But Berman's statement was stricken from court records after state's lead attorney Michael Ciresi jumped up from his chair to object because he said the legislation in question wasn't passed into law.
  • 03/25/98 Minnesota Tobacco Trial: Prof. Says Cigarette Dangers Known Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Professor Hyman Berman, in his second day of testimony as a defense witness, said slang and phrases such as "coffin nails" and "little white slavers" in reference to cigarettes are widely accepted in the popular culture.
  • 03/25/98 Tobacco Cos. Ask Chief Judge To Remove Judge In Minn. Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Lawyers for tobacco companies have taken a second step in their effort to remove the judge presiding over Minnesota's trial against cigarette makers. The tobacco companies have filed a motion asking Lawrence D. Cohen, chief judge of the Ramsey County District Court, to reconsider their request for the removal of Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick.
  • 03/25/98 Tobbaco Cos. Seek Judge's Removal UPI
      The nation's major tobacco companies have asked the chief judge in St. Paul to intervene and remove the trial judge from the state's $1.77 billion consumer fraud suit against cigarette-makers. The tobacco companies claim Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick has demonstrated bias in the case. . . Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen said he will hear oral arguments on the tobacco companies' motion, adding, "If it makes them feel better, why not?"
  • 03/25/98 The State's Case Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Week 1: It was all about nicotine and addiction, as the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield kept their first witness, Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic, on the stand for four days.
  • 03/25/98 Tuesday's Developments Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tuesday's quote: Smoking is "a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, and dangerous to the lungs." -- King James I of England, in a 1604 message about smoking that was referred to by Hy Berman in testimony
  • 03/25/98 State Rests Case In Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      After more than three years of preparation, two months of trial, 26 witnesses and about 2,200 documents, the state of Minnesota rested its case -- for the most part -- on Tuesday in its historic tobacco trial. The stage quickly shifted to the defense and its first witness, a popular University of Minnesota professor who delivered a lively history lesson on Minnesotans and smoking. Hyman Berman's research -- which has taken about 1,200 hours of his time during the past 2 1/2 years -- disputes the notion that cigarette makers deceived Minnesotans for decades about the perils of smoking. The professor laid the groundwork for his testimony by talking about his academic background and how he and his assistants went about the research.
  • 03/25/98 Tobacco Defense Debuts Its Side Of Trial With History Lesson Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      From 1950 to 1964, "there was a massive explosion of knowledge" about smoking and health, Berman said. And 1964 was a "critical year" when the surgeon general first raised public concerns about the long-term effects of smoking.
  • 03/25/98 Professor: Smoking Risks Were Known AP
      The hazards of smoking have been common knowledge since the days of Christopher Columbus, a historian testified as the defense opened its case in Minnesota's tobacco trial. Not only did Columbus know about the risks of tobacco, so did King James I of England and former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, University of Minnesota Professor Hyman Berman told jurors Tuesday. . . Berman cited Columbus' diary, which quoted another observer on how Europeans already were becoming hooked on tobacco: "I knew Spaniards (he adds) on the island of Espanola (San Domingo) who were accustomed to take it, and being reprimanded by telling them it was a vice, they made reply that they were unable to cease using it. I know not what relish or benefit they found therein."
  • 03/25/98 Tobacco Firms Say Minnesotans Knew the Risks of Cigarettes The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      "The law is not determining that the manufacturers did something bad, that they manipulated nicotine levels or marketed to children or didn't disclose all they knew about the risks of smoking," Morgan Stanley's Mr. Adelman says. "That's not what you need to ring the cash register... . What you need to establish is that the industry's behavior caused the Medicaid payments to be higher than they would be otherwise."
  • 03/25/98 Attorneys At Odds Over Cigarette-makers' Profits AP
      Cigarette-company profits cited by plaintiffs in Minnesota's tobacco trial may not be accurate because companies do not use the same reporting methods, the defense suggested yesterday. In cross-examination, tobacco attorney David Bernick tried to punch holes in testimony by Paul Much, a financial analyst called by the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 03/24/98 Minnesota Wraps Up Its Case In Tobacco Trial Reuters
      Ramsey County Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, who is overseeing the unprecedented case, quickly turned aside a request by defense lawyers that he declare a not guilty, or directed, verdict. Lawyers representing the cigarette makers argued that the state had failed to prove their case that the industry defrauded the public. While leveling strong criticism, he also promised to present a solid defense. "The case ended with an enormous whimper, not a bang," said Robert Weber, an attorney for defendant R.J. Reynolds.
  • 03/24/98 State Queries Final Witness, Challenges First Defense Witness Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Berman, a glib and entertaining University of Minnesota history professor, is the defense's first witness and could testify as soon as Tuesday. . . "Professor Berman has not studied and has no expertise in whether or how tobacco industry advertising and marketing practices influenced Minnesota smokers to disbelieve, ignore or rationalize away the health risks," the state's motion says. As a result, the state contends, Berman's testimony is irrelevant to the fraud and antitrust allegations in the case and he lacks the specialized knowledge that would qualify him as an expert witness. The state asked Fitzpatrick to exclude Berman's "common knowledge" portion of his testimony, which apparently would cover a significant amount of what he has to tell the jury.
  • 03/27/98 First Witness For Tobacco TestifiesSt. Paul Pioneer Press
      Diehl's 1969 book, "Tobacco & Your Health: The Smoking Controversy," is an indictment of the tobacco industry. Its main theme -- that smokers don't know the truth about cigarettes -- contradicted Berman's finding of widespread public knowledge about smoking and disease. Ciresi read paragraph after paragraph in the form of questions. Berman cheerfully answered, "Yes," "Correct," and "That's what it says."
  • 03/27/98 First Defense Witness In Tobacco Trial Is A Big Hit With Plaintiffs AP
      By the end of the day, the jovial historian had agreed with so many of Ciresi' s assertions that the attorney proclaimed him " an excellent witness for the state." " I think you saw a very extraordinary event in the courtroom, " Ciresi told reporters afterward. " An expert for the other side turned and came over to the plaintiffs' side."
  • 03/26/98 Both Sides Claim Benefit From Defense's 1st Witness In Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Whether testimony by a jovial history professor - who was the defense's lead witness in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry here - was actually a benefit to the tobacco companies or to the state depended on which side did the talking. Both sides took aim at a 1969 book written by Harold S. Diehl, dean of the University of Minnesota medical school, titled "Tobacco and Your Health: The Smoking Controversy." The book said that surveys indicate that most people have heard of a relationship between smoking and cancer but that many of them consider the risk to be small and remote.
  • 03/27/98 Obscure 1969 Book Used To Refute Tobacco's Leadoff Witness Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      But a 1969 book by the late Dr. Harold Diehl, former dean of the university Medical School, seemed to undercut Berman's position. In the book, Diehl expressed grave concern about the public's limited knowledge of smoking and health. Diehl wrote that many knew "little or nothing" about smoking's connection to heart disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other diseases. The Diehl book also accused the tobacco industry of "misleading propaganda" regarding health hazards.
  • 03/27/98 Tobacco Trial Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday's quote: "We believe plaintiff counsel Ciresi will not chance a jury awarding less than the industry's offer of $4.5 billion (state asking $1.7 billion); any verdict could be overturned on appeal, or the judge could be removed from the case." -- Gary Black, a tobacco analyst for Wall Street investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., in a report predicting the Minnesota trial will end in a settlement before coming to a jury verdict.

  • 03/26/98 Prof. Admits Error In Testimony In Minn. Tobacco Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Hyman Berman, the tobacco industry's first witness, said he had looked at thousands of news articles during his research looking in the the public awareness of smoking, efforts, rather than the "hundreds of thousands" he had said earlier in the trial. "There was a lot, let's put it that way," Berman said during cross examination.
  • 03/26/98 Tobacco Firms Use Historian to Show Awareness of Risk LA Times
  • 03/26/98 Defense Witness Says Tobacco's Risks Known St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Big Tobacco's first witness in the Minnesota tobacco trial had nothing good to say about cigarettes. And that was precisely the point.
  • 03/26/98 History Professor Says Minnesotans Knew All About Tobacco Risks AP
      With a history professor providing commentary, attorney Peter Bleakley introduced article after article from Minnesota newspapers and national magazines into evidence. . . " Cancer by the Carton" was the title of a 1952 Reader' s Digest article. " Cancer 10 Times Likelier for Cigaret Smokers, " read one of several headlines in a collage of headlines from Minneapolis Star articles from the 1950s.
  • 03/26/98 Most Minnesotans Knew Smoking Risks Early On, Witness Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The surgeon general's report closed the debate for most scientists, . . . and led to an explosion of information that was disseminated to the public," Berman said. . . Fitzpatrick also said Berman couldn't testify about cigarette excise taxes as an offset against Medicaid costs.
  • 03/27/98 Minn. Atty Genl Says 'Era Of Lies' By Big Tobacco Over Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Asked about the industry's planned appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court - including a request for a stay of an April 1 deadline for release of the documents - Humphrey said that traditionally the U.S. Supreme Court hasn't granted stays in discovery motions. "It's not been a normal or usual circumstance," said Humphrey, a gubernatorial candidate. "We'll wait and see."
  • 03/27/98 Minn. Sup Ct Rules Against Tobacco Cos. On Document Release Dow Jones (pay registration)
      In its ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court said petitions for further review are denied and that the effect of its order is stayed until 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, April 1. Greg Little, a lawyer for Philip Morris Cos. (MO), told reporters the industry plans to file a request for a stay of the April 1 deadline.
  • 03/27/98 Ex-Minn. Health Official Says Staff Debated On Cigarettes Dow Jones (pay registration)
      A former Minnesota Department of Health employee, who had spent most of her 14 years at the agency tackling smoking and health issues in the state, said there was debate within the staff about whether cigarettes are addictive. . . As part of its defense, the industry is arguing that the state benefited from cigarette taxation. Harty also said the agency felt the public was not well enough educated about the risks associated with smoking and that the agency launched a media campaign - later imitated by other states - to counteract advertising images presented by the tobacco industry that suggested smoking is tied to a healthy lifestyle.
  • 03/27/98 Supreme Court lets stand order to turn over tobacco documents. AP
      The state' s high court stayed its order until 5 p.m. CST Wednesday, giving defendants in Minnesota' s tobacco trial time to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. . . " The practical impossibility of the relief sought by petitioners mandates that we deny their request for discretionary review, " the court said.
      Copying and Imaging: Based on the proposals submitted, the Plaintiffs and Certain Defendants shall enter into a contract with Merrill Corporation, which shall provide copying and imaging services. Such services shall expressly include on-site photocopying at the Minneapolis Depository for convenience and expedience.

  • 03/29/98 Minn. Court: Tobacco Ruling Stands AP
      The judge in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry ruled Saturday that the public should be allowed to see more than 33 million pages of internal company documents. Tobacco companies had requested the action. . . State Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III applauded the judge's action, although he earlier had called the companies' request to open the files a public relations ploy.
  • 03/29/98 Judge Opens Tobacco Industry Documents Reuters
      The public and the media have been able to see the documents only when they were introduced in court.
  • 03/29/98 Tobacco Trial Review St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 03/29/98 Fitzpatrick Orders Public Access To Tobacco Documents Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick granted a tobacco industry request Saturday, ordering that the public be given access to a Minneapolis warehouse with more than 33 million pages of documents turned over by companies in preparation for the Minnesota smoking -and-health trial. The warehouse, part of the Hennepin Business Center at 1021 10th Av. SE., must be open within 15 days, according to Fitzpatrick's order. . . He also authorized that documents about the health and safety risks of smoking held at industry law firms Shook Hardy & Bacon and Chadbourne & Park be released.
  • 03/29/98 Judge Orders Document Depositories In Tobacco Case Open To Public AP
      The judge in Minnesota's tobacco trial Saturday authorized the opening to the public of warehouses here and in England containing more than 33 million pages of internal company documents. Tobacco companies had requested the action. Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick ordered that the public be allowed into the Minneapolis depository within 15 days. He also authorized three British defendants to open a separate depository in Guildford, England, which is near London. "This decision flings open the doors to millions of secret tobacco industry documents that expose the greatest corporate fraud in American history," said Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III, who earlier had called the tobacco companies' request a public relations ploy. The order also gives congressional committees access to the papers as they consider a proposed national settlement of lawsuits against the tobacco industry. It also allows the attorney general's office to discuss the documents with Congress.
  • 03/29/98 Minnesota Has Long Been A Hotbed Of Anti-smoking Sentiment AP
      It should have been no surprise that it was Minnesota which broke out of the pack of states vying for a bite of a huge national tobacco settlement and stood alone in court against the tobacco industry. The state has been a hotbed of anti-tobacco sentiment almost since it joined the union, and the tobacco industry focused on that tradition to open its defense.

  • 03/28/98Court Decision a Blow to Tobacco LA Times
  • 03/28/98 Tobacco Companies Ordered To Surrender More Than 41, 000 Documents AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Two Minnesota appellate courts dealt a blow to the tobacco industry, ordering the cigarette makers to surrender more than 41, 000 secret documents to the state. The first decision Friday came from the Minnesota Supreme Court and involved 39, 000 internal documents sought by the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield in their $1.77 billion lawsuit against the industry. Later, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in a separate document dispute, this one involving 2, 167 additional documents from three British defendants, as the trial concluded its ninth week of testimony.
  • 03/28/98 Defense Vows U.S. Supreme Court Appeal On Evidence Ruling Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 03/28/98 Tobacco Firms Lose Round Over Documents St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Separately, the state Court of Appeals refused to block the immediate release of 2,161 secret documents of a British tobacco group. That disclosure is a penalty for the failure of two former company scientists to testify. "Severe sanctions are appropriate if parties have acted in bad faith and it is too late to remedy violations," the appeals court said.
  • 03/28/98 Daily Tobacco Update Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: The defense continues its case, calling as witnesses several tobacco company scientists. Friday's quote: It would be a "sad day if important rights, such as attorney-client privilege . . . are sacrificed because of practicality."
  • 03/28/98 Court Upholds Order to Release Tobacco Papers Reuters
      "The tobacco companies will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court based on due process," said attorney David Bernick, who represents Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.
  • 03/28/98 Tobacco Firms Must Submit Documents in Minn. Suit Washington Post
      "I think the essence of this decision is that the issue we have raised is a very, very significant one that is recognized by the [state] Supreme Court," Bernick said. Michael Ciresi, lead attorney for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, said he did not expect the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the appeal. "There's no federal issue here," he said. Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III said the papers "will expose the full depth of the tobacco industry's law-breaking -- how they marketed to kids, how they manipulated nicotine and how they conspired to hide health research. We believe they will tell the most devastating tale of corporate fraud and deceit in American history."
  • 03/28/98 Order Providing Public Access To The Minnesota Document Depository (LINK NOT WORKING)
  • 03/27/98 Minnesota Supreme Court Order denying petition for review of Court of Appeals Order of March 17, 1998 denying petitions for awrit of prohibation or a writ of mandamus
  • 03/27/98 Minnesota Court of Appeals order denying petition for a writ of prohibition from the trial court's order of January 5, 1998 compelling discovery and a March 21, 1998, order imposing sanctions for discovery violations
  • 03/30/98 Tobacco Firms Ask Help In Minn. Case UPI
      The major tobacco companies have asked the Supreme Court to block a judge's order that they produce thousands of documents in Minnesota's lawsuit against them. . . The companies say the documents are protected by "attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, the joint defense privilege, or some combination of those protections." "Work product" is material produced by an attorney in defense of his client. "Joint defense" is material that was prepared for a combined defense, even though one of the original defendants, the Liggett Group, has broken ranks and admitted that cigarettes cause cancer. The application for a stay goes to JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, who oversees Minnesota. Thomas can act on his own or refer the request to the full court.
  • 03/30/98 Tobacco Exec Testifies in Minn AP 03/30/98
      The smoke of 600 cigarettes contains about the same amount of the cancer-causing chemical benzopyrene as a charcoal-broiled steak, an industry researcher testified Monday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. David Townsend said tobacco companies, beginning in the 1950s, looked for ways to reduce or eliminate benzopyrene and other carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. The approach that was most successful, he said, was reducing the overall level of tar, the sticky substance produced when tobacco is burned that contains benzopyrene and other harmful chemicals.
  • 03/30/98 Judge Opens Tobacco Document Depositories, Appellate Courts Weigh In AP
  • 03/31/98 RJR Scientist Testifies on Safety LA Times
  • 03/31/98 Tobacco Official Recounts Battle On Smoke Toxicity St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Grilling a steak over charcoal creates as much of the harmful chemical benzopyrene as 600 smoked cigarettes . . . Even though cigarettes contain low levels of such compounds, the industry has tried unsuccessfully since the 1950s to remove them one at a time, said David Townsend, vice president of product development and assessment for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The resulting cigarettes had major problems and couldn't be sold, he said. "They had a really unacceptable taste," . . . . . The tobacco industry eventually focused on reducing the overall amount of cigarette tar, the hazardous part of smoke . . .
  • 03/31/98 Tobacco Trial: R.J. Reynolds Reduced Tar - Scientist Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Cigarette makers have substantially reduced tar and nicotine levels in cigarettes over time, a R.J. Reynolds scientist testified Monday in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry.
  • 03/31/98 Firms Seek Justice's Help In Avoiding Release Of Papers / 39,000 Documents Sought For Minn. Trial Richmond Times-Dispatch
      Philip Morris Cos. Inc. and its allies are seeking Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' help in a bid to avoid releasing thousands of documents in Minnesota's $1.77 billion lawsuit against the cigarette companies. A Supreme Court spokesman confirmed yesterday that Thomas, who reviews Minnesota's cases, had re-ceived an application from Philip Morris and other major cigarette makers seeking to block a Minnesota court order
  • 03/31/98 Tobacco Designer Cites History Of "Improved" Cigarettes Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The tar and nicotine levels in cigarettes dropped significantly in a 30-year period as industry scientists experimented with different cigarette designs while attempting to remove carcinogens from tobacco smoke. Improved filters, more porous paper and reconstituted tobacco allowed cigarette companies to reduce levels of tar and nicotine, two central ingredients in the smoking-and-health debate, said David Townsend, the leading cigarette designer for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
  • 03/31/98 Researcher Outlines Tobacco Efforts To Make A Safer Cigarette Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has tested more than 100 possible tobacco substitutes, including lettuce leaves and cocoa bean hulls, in its attempts to make a safer cigarette, a researcher testified. . . Petunia leaves, peanut shells, fig leaves, corn cobs, puffed grains and vegetables also were tested, according to a company document.
  • 03/31/98 Consumer Acceptance Key In Safer Cigarettes, Scientist Says Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Some 16 or 18 different cigarette brands containing virtually no nicotine have been tested in the marketplace over time, but all have failed because they weren't accepted by consumers, an R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. scientist told jurors Tuesday in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry here. David Townsend, vice president of product development and assessment at the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. (RN) unit, added, however, that smokers don't smoke only for the nicotine - taste characteristics, rituals and a number of other things play into why smokers light up. "For any product to make progress in the smoking and health issue, consumer acceptance is critical," Townsend said.
  • 03/31/98 Researcher: Ammonia Not Addictive AP
      Tobacco companies add ammonia to some cigarettes to create a smoother, more flavorful smoke, a researcher for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. testified Tuesday . . David Townsend testified there is little change in pH when Reynolds adds ammonia to cigarettes. He also noted the 1979 U.S. surgeon general's report on smoking and health, which said U.S. cigarettes have little of the more potent "free" form of nicotine said to be created by adding ammonia.
  • 04/01/98 US Supreme Ct Grants Temp Stay On Tobacco Document Release Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 04/01/98 Release of Tobacco Data Is Delayed AP
      Justice Clarence Thomas postponed until 5 p.m. Thursday the effect of a Minnesota trial judge's order requiring release of the documents. His action apparently is aimed at giving him, or perhaps the full Supreme Court, time to review the tobacco industry's claims that "tens of thousands" of the documents are privileged information that should stay secret. Thomas handles emergency matters from Minnesota for the nation's highest court.
  • 04/01/98 Release Of Tobacco Documents Blocked For One Day Reuters
      Justice Clarence Thomas stayed a lower court order on the release of 39,000 documents on industry trade secrets until 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) Thursday. Thomas, in his one-sentence order, did not explain his decision or say whether he would refer the matter to the full court for review.
  • 04/01/98 THOMAS Delays Tobacco Documents Release UPI
      In an additional filing with the Supreme Court today, the tobacco companies suggested the Minnesota trial judge conduct a document-by- document search of the material to determine what is protected by privilege.

  • 04/01/98 RJR Scientist Testifies on Safety LA Times
  • 04/01/98 Chemist Describes Ammonia/ Tobacco Mix St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Adding ammonia to tobacco makes cigarettes taste "more chocolate-like," a tobacco company chemist testified Tuesday in the Minnesota tobacco trial. "Ammonia does react with sugar and does form a number of flavorful compounds," said David Townsend, vice president of product development and assessment for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The testimony in a St. Paul courtroom contrasted sharply with internal tobacco industry documents that say ammonia changes the chemistry of smoke, increasing the nicotine to smokers.
  • 04/01/98 State Cross-examines R.J. Reynolds Cigarette Designer AP
  • 04/01/98 Tobacco Daily Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tuesday's quote: "I believe R.J. Reynolds has developed products, and placed them in the marketplace, that have directly addressed smoking -and-health issues in response to the scientific community." -- David Townsend
  • 04/01/98 Technical Testimony In Shadow Of Important Document Deadline Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      If the Supreme Court hasn't acted by 5. p.m. the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will obtain immediate access to 39,000 industry papers previously protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • 04/02/98 Tobacco Cos. Again Petition Court AP
      Turned aside by one Supreme Court justice, tobacco companies on Thursday asked Justice ANTONIN SCALIA to block the release of some 39,000 secret documents sought in Minnesota's tobacco trial.
  • 04/02/98 U.S. Denies Tobacco Stay, But Delays Paper Release Reuters
  • 04/02/98 THOMAS Won't Block Tobacco Documents UPI
      U.S. Supreme Court Justice CLARENCE THOMAS has refused to permanently block a judge's order forcing the major tobacco companies to produce thousands of documents in Minnesota's lawsuit against them. But Thomas did leave his own temporary stay in place until Monday evening, meaning the tobacco companies have several days to convince another justice, the full Supreme Court, or the lower courts to help them. Wednesday, Thomas had blocked the judge's order for 24 hours. Today, he issued a short statement saying: "It is ordered that the application for a stay is denied. The temporary stay entered by the undersigned on (Wednesday) shall continue in effect until 5 p.m. (EDT) on Monday."
  • 04/02/98 Court Won't Block Tobacco Documents AP
      A Supreme Court justice today refused to spare the nation's cigarette makers from having to release some 39,000 secret documents in a closely watched Minnesota trial. Justice Clarence Thomas rejected the tobacco industry's bid to postpone indefinitely the effect of a Minnesota judge's order requiring release of the documents. But Thomas' brief order will not require immediate surrender of the documents. He extended a temporary postponement he had granted Wednesday to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday. Tobacco industry lawyers are free to seek help from any of the Supreme Court's eight other members by resubmitting their claims that "tens of thousands" of the documents are privileged information that should stay secret.
  • 04/02/98 Tobacco Document: Government Scientist Sought Aid St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A former top National Cancer Institute scientist once asked tobacco industry officials to lobby Congress for his appointment to a higher government post, according to a secret 1973 memo disclosed Wednesday. The memo, written by a former Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. research director, describes an unsuccessful effort by Gio B. Gori, former director of the institute's smoking and health program, to get himself appointed head of etiology at the National Institutes of Health. Etiology is the science of the cause of disease. "Gori very bluntly asked, was it not possible for the tobacco lobby in Congress to use its influence to get Gori appointed to the position, bearing in mind that he is a reasonable man and sympathetic to the industry," said the memo by I.W. Hughes, who later became chairman of the Louisville, Ky.-based cigarette maker.
  • 04/02/98 Witness: Freon Used in Some Cigs AP
      When the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. began using Freon to process tobacco for low-tar cigarettes, the idea was to try to make a safer product. David Townsend . . . testified Wednesday that the company used Freon for more than two decades. But he said he could not remember Reynolds ever studying the long-term effects of the combination of Freon and tobacco smoke on humans.
  • 04/02/98 Cigarette Talk Continues As Supreme Court Grants One-day Stay Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      During trial testimony Wednesday, a top scientist for R.J. Reynolds defended his company's position on the smoking-and-health issue, asserting that smokers have the option to quit if they are worried about health risks. "My company does not say it doesn't" cause disease, David Townsend said. "It says it may. Cigarette smoking is a risk for a number of diseases. It's not scientifically established that smoking by itself causes disease."
  • 04/03/98 Ruling For Releasing Papers Blow To Tobacco St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 04/03/98 Thomas Tells Tobacco Firms To Divulge Internal Papers Washington Post
      Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told cigarette companies yesterday that they must divulge 39,000 of their most closely guarded documents to the state of Minnesota -- the second blow to the beleaguered industry this week. . . On the same day the Commerce Committee voted, Steven Goldstone, chief executive of the parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., told several House members that RJR was ready to change course: It would stop its efforts to win approval of a tobacco settlement bill and turn to defeating the McCain measure, according to a source familiar with those meetings.
  • 04/03/98 Supreme Court Justice Won't Suspend Document-release Order Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 04/03/98 Tobacco Daily Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday's quote: "We believed all along that their arguments were without merit, and we'll have the documents on Monday." -- lead attorney Michael Ciresi, responding to the order by Justice Thomas.
  • 04/03/98 Exec: RJR Quiet On Pitfalls Of Low-tar Smoke AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. knew but never warned smokers that they were likely to lose any health advantage of low-tar cigarettes by changing their own smoking techniques, a tobacco executive said yesterday. A 1972 memo by Claude Teague Jr., a researcher for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., was introduced in Minnesota's tobacco trial during testimony by David Townsend, the company's vice president of product development and assessment. Teague's memo described the compensation theory in a discussion of the company's efforts to make low-tar, medium-nicotine cigarettes that would be acceptable to smokers. Teague said that a smoker of reduced-tar cigarettes will subconsciously adjust puffing and the number of cigarettes smoked to obtain the desired level of nicotine. Thus, regardless of which cigarette the smoker chooses, the smoker will receive about the same daily amount of tar, Teague wrote.
  • 04/04/98 Not for Broadcast or Publication: FITZPATRICK Removal Motion to be Heard
      Here is a list of events in Minnesota for Saturday-Friday, April 4-10, for your planning purposes. The Associated Press will not cover each item on the list. . . Thursday, April 9 . . . ST. PAUL - 1:30 p.m. - Chief Ramsey County District JUDGE LAWRENCE COHEN holds hearing on motion by non-Liggett tobacco defendants to remove JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK from Minnesota' s tobacco trial. Courtroom 1240, Ramsey County Courthouse. Details: Rebecca Fanning at 296-6043.
  • 04/04/98 Smokers Often Derail Purpose Of Low-tar Cigarettes Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      BAT Co. principal research scientist Michael Dixon said the medical community and the tobacco industry each had concluded publicly that smokers compensate in their smoking technique when switching to cigarettes with lower tar and lower nicotine than stronger cigarettes. But, Dixon added, the amount of compensation declines over time and smokers gradually are weaned to lower tar and nicotine cigarettes. "Compensation is a phenomenon that tends to be short in duration," Dixon told BAT Co. attorney David Bernick.
  • 04/04/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The highest-tar product we sell today is lower than the lowest-tar product we used to sell in the mid-1950s." -- Townsend, under questioning Monday by R.J. Reynolds attorney Robert Weber, about the development of low-yield cigarettes.
  • 04/04/98 Friday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: Philip Morris scientist Harold Burnley testifies for the defense, which also faces a 4 p.m. deadline, imposed by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to release 39,000 confidential tobacco industry documents.
  • 04/04/98 British Tobacco Scientist Discusses Smoking Research AP
      Nicotine was considered the most important factor in smoking as early as 1918, and it has been known for decades that smokers adjust to maintain nicotine levels when smoking low-tar cigarettes, a researcher testified Friday. Attorney David Bernick introduced into Minnesota' s tobacco trial a series of volumes on the history of nicotine research during the testimony of MICHAEL DIXON, a scientist for British-American Tobacco Co. The basic reference texts, written by three professors at the Medical College of Virginia, include information gathered from 6, 000 articles that appeared in about 1, 200 journals.
  • 04/03/98 Full U.S. Court To Review New Tobacco Stay Request Reuters
      The full U.S. Supreme Court will consider a new request by tobacco companies to keep thousands of industry documents from being released in a $1.7 billion smoking liability suit in Minnesota, a court spokesman said Friday. The official said Justice Antonin Scalia referred the matter for full court review after receiving a second emergency stay request from tobacco companies, which are fighting lower court orders to release the documents.
  • 04/03/98 Tobacco Issue to Go to Full Court AP
        Here's a Supreme Court Calendar and here's an Argument Calendar
        For insight into the courts' leanings on tobacco, especially that of Scalia and Thomas, read the decisions on Cipollone (Warning label preemption--June 24, 1992) and 44 LIQUORMART (advertising restrictions-May 13, 1996).
        Oyez allows you to actually hear the fascinating Cipollone arguments and the Reargument
        For other insights into Scalia's and Thomas' leanings on tobacco, read Cigars on Capitol Hill (December, 1993 Cigar Aficionado)
          Something about cigars has always pleased the judicial mind--at least the male one--at the highest level. U.S. Supreme Court Justice RUTH GINSBURG turned down the chambers formerly occupied by Justice CLARENCE THOMAS because of the still-lingering fragrance of his beloved cigars, which he puffs daily. Chief Justice WILLIAM REHNQUIST is a smoker, and Justice ANTONIN SCALIA is an occasional, but ardent, cigar buff.
  • 04/06/98 Tobacco Cos To Comply With Us Court Document Order Reuters
      "This decision eviscerates effective legal representation that lies at the core of our system of civil justice," the companies said in a statement. "Furthermore, today's decision will not aid the plaintiffs in overcoming the fatal flaws in their case in Minnesota," the statement said. "We believe long-standing critics will use today's decision simply as another opportunity to inflame public antipathy toward the industry and nothing more."
  • 04/06/98 Court Denies Tobacco Shield Request AP
      The Supreme Court cleared the way today for the tobacco industry's forced release of 39,000 secret documents in a Minnesota trial. The court rejected an emergency request in which the nation's cigarette makers claimed that most of the documents are privileged information that should stay secret. . . Today's order means the documents -- totaling some 200,000 pages -- must be surrendered to lawyers for Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. . . The order does not make the 39,000 documents public.

  • 04/06/98 Statement By ANDY CZAJOWSKI Regarding Ruling By U.S. Supreme Court On Attorney-Client Privileged Documents Business Wire
      "The iceberg has hit the Big Tobacco ship. . . These are the words of truth--from Big Tobacco's own internal documents. They are the words that explain how Big Tobacco hid or suppressed research on smoking and health, and nicotine addiction, how Big Tobacco targeted kids as young as 5 years old, and how Big Tobacco misled smokers so they would keep smoking until their deaths.
  • 04/06/98 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Response To Release Of Privileged Documents PR Newswire
      The question every single American corporation and individual should be asking themselves is, "Who's next?" If by the stroke of a pen, a judge can decide that a politically incorrect industry is no longer entitled to defend itself in court, that it is merely a political pinata suspended for the sport of seeing who gets to hit it next and how much it can disgorge, that should send a message to everyone in this nation: Am I next? Is my company next? . . The documents released today do nothing but show that the attorneys representing this company were doing their jobs. It's their job and their obligation to analyze every possible angle of attack our critics might take. It's their job and their obligation to look at our cases and prioritize our strongest and weakest arguments. In so doing, they were recording their thoughts and recommendations under the principle of attorney-client privilege, allowing them the freedom to analyze all facts in order to prepare the strongest case possible for the client. Now, those analyses and notes are about to be made public.
  • 04/05/98 The World Is Watching Minnesota, But ... Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The tobacco trial has led Minnesota to be depicted as a scrappy little state with its incisors buried in powerful corporate legs -- but also as a state "in which absolutely nothing is allowed."
  • 04/07/98 State Could Use New Tobacco Documents As Soon As Wednesday Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Of the 110 boxes delivered Monday, 54 were from R.J. Reynolds, 23 from Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 18 from Philip Morris, four each from BAT Co. and American Tobacco Co., three from Lorillard Tobacco Co., two from the Tobacco Institute, and one each from the Council for Tobacco Research and BAT Industries.
  • 04/07/98 Judge Reprimands Defense For Action In Tobacco Trial AP
      "Who was it who was so anxious to `rush' the CD-ROM to the congressman before it was provided to the plaintiffs?" Fitzpatrick demanded. The judge said he wanted an apology from the person responsible. "I'm suggesting ... that the understanding was clear in chambers that the plaintiffs would have the first opportunity to obtain the documents and the CD-ROMs. That was crystal clear in chambers," Fitzpatrick said. "It appears that somebody decided ... that they would go on their own. And I would like to know who that person is," he said.
  • 04/07/98 Minn. Judge Seeks Apology From Tobacco Cos. On CD-Rom Issue Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The judge presiding over Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry criticized the industry for turning over computer copies of internal documents to Congress before surrendering them to state's lawyers. . . A spokesman at the Commerce Committee confirmed that the committee has received documents and CD-Roms from the industry . . . However, a law clerk for Fitzpatrick said plaintiffs in Minnesota didn't receive CD-Roms Monday.

  • 04/07/98 Big Tobacco's Files Opened for Trial Use LA Times
      One undated company document described research on the "starting [smoking] behavior of children as young as 5 years old." A 1959 report by the British American Tobacco Co. expressed fears about "destroying the nicotine habit in a large number of consumers and preventing it ever being acquired by new smokers." A 1957 memo from an R.J. Reynolds scientist termed cigarette smoking "a lethal habit with some addiction involved.".
  • 04/07/98 Minn. Plaintiffs Get Tobacco Papers AP
      "We should get through them in a few days," Ciresi said.
  • 04/07/98 Minnesota, Congress Get Tobacco Papers Reuters
  • 04/07/98 High Court Refuses to Shield Tobacco Memos Washington Post
  • 04/07/98 Secret Tobacco Files Released; Will Documents Hurt Industry In Courts, Congress? Winston-Salem Journal
      "If the documents are really bad for them, they may lose across the board in court and in Congress..
  • 04/07/98 The Path To Disclosure Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      In the past 31 days, the fate of the contested tobacco company documents has bounced from Ramsey County District Court to the U.S. Supreme Court, with several stops en route.
  • 04/06/98 Tobacco Documents at a Glance AP
      In a recommendation later upheld by the trial judge and appellate courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, he found attorney-client privilege did not apply to 39,000 documents in four categories: --Scientific research on smoking and health. --Special projects, mainly Council for Tobacco Research and certain lawyer-controlled projects. --Public statements and public positions taken by defendants related to smoking and health. --Documents not privileged in other lawsuits and specifically designated by the state of Minnesota for the category.
  • 04/06/98 Tobacco Documents Delivered To U.S. Congressman Reuters
      Tobacco companies on Monday began turning over documents subpoenaed by a powerful chairman in the U.S. House, but the papers will not be made public immediately, a spokesman said. . . BLILEY had demanded Monday that the documents be "produced immediately" and threatened to hold the companies in contempt if they continued to withhold them.
  • 04/06/98 Minn. Plaintiffs Get Tobacco Papers AP
      Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the handover of the documents, attorneys for the plaintiffs began sifting through them for material that could bolster their case. .
  • 04/06/98 Minnesota Obtains Secret Tobacco Documents Reuters
      Lawyers for the state of Minnesota suing the tobacco industry obtained thousands of long-sought documents Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down industry efforts to keep the information private. Hours after the justices let stand lower court rulings ordering the 39,000 contested documents released, boxes labeled with the tobacco companies' names were carted into the Minneapolis offices of Michael Ciresi, the state's lead lawyer in its $1.7 billion smoking liability lawsuit. . . Ciresi said the documents . . . would not immediately be made public until they are used in the civil trial. .
  • 04/06/98 Tobacco Trial Jurors Hearing From Industry Researchers AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors in Minnesota' s tobacco trial are hearing from the cigarette makers' scientists called by the defense to undermine claims that the industry deceived the public. Their testimony continues this week amid a continuing dispute over 39, 000 internal documents that reached the nation' s highest court last week. The defendants faced a deadline today to release the papers barring a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to extend a temporary stay. While lawyers for both sides awaited word from Washington, the jury was due today to hear from Philip Morris Inc. scientist Harold Burnle.
  • 04/08/98 Tobacco Decision Affects Minn. Case AP
      "We have always expected to bring our case to the jury in order to get the truth out about this rogue industry and, by God, we are prepared to see it through," Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said. But Humphrey didn't totally rule out settlement. "I think that people of good will who have sincere interests in resolving differences can always find a basis for doing that," he said.
  • 04/08/98 At Minn. Trial, Tobacco Scientist Tackles Issue Of Smoke pH Dow Jones (pay registration)
      MICHAEL DIXON, an expert on respiratory physiology who is principal research scientist at BRITISH-AMERICAN TOBACCO CO., a unit of B.A.T Industries Ltd. (BTI), refuted the state's claim that increased pH causes nicotine to reach the brain faster. "I conclude the opposite," Dixon said. "Significantly increasing the pH would reduce the amount and speed to the brain."
  • 04/08/98 Tobacco Firms Trot Out BULLWINKLE To Counter JOE CAMEL Allegations; Lottery's Use Of Cartoon Held Up As Double Standard St. Paul Pioneer Press
      BULLWINKLE has marched into the tobacco wars. . . . It was one of 96 exhibits, including other lottery advertising, offered as evidence during the third "document day" of the 11-week-old trial.

  • 04/08/98 Tobacco Lawyers Apologize For CD-ROMs AP
      Calling it a "misunderstanding," tobacco attorneys apologized for delivering CD-ROMs of 39,000 internal documents to Congress before providing them to plaintiffs in a Minnesota lawsuit.
  • 04/08/98 Judge Asks For Apology In Document Release Procedure Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Fitzpatrick said there was a "crystal clear" agreement between plaintiffs and defendants in the state's smoking-and-health case that CD-ROMs would be provided to the state first to assist in its hurry-up search of documents before the trial ends. "I'd like an apology from that person who felt the need to violate the agreement we had in chambers," Fitzpatrick told R.J. Reynolds attorney Jonathan Redgrave . . analysts who have been watching the trial said they believe that the industry preferred a massive one-time dump of information to a slower, one-document-at-a-time process of disclosure.

  • 04/09/98 Tobacco's Secrets No Longer Sacred; Attorney-client Privilege Has Limitations With Documents St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "It's not only not absolute, it's full of holes. It's really far more limited than people think it is. You have to meet each of the criteria very specifically," said Edna Selan Epstein . . . The cost to the cigarette makers for learning this lesson is the forced release of 39,000 of some of their most secret documents. . . "You just can't say that `Anything that's painful, anything we wished hadn't happened, we can't sweep them away just by putting an attorney's name on it and claiming attorney-client privilege,' " said Tom Gilde, counsel for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • 04/09/98 `Kick' Not Enhanced Via Smoke Chemistry St. Paul Pioneer Press
      On the contrary, he said, increasing the smoke's alkalinity, or pH, slows the transmission of nicotine to the brain. . . Dixon said the chemistry of smoke can be changed to increase the amount of readily absorbed free-base nicotine. But he said free nicotine gets absorbed mainly in the mouth and throat -- both slow pathways to the brain -- before it reaches the lungs. " It will be lost very, very high up on the route," Dixon said. Dixon, who holds a doctorate in respiratory physiology, also testified that smokers increase their smoke intake on low-tar cigarettes to compensate for the lower tar and nicotine levels. But he said smokers still get less tar and nicotine, and the behavior declines over time.
  • 04/09/98 Tobacco Witness Says Smoking Is Risky, But Harm Not Proven Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Michael Dixon, a principal research scientist from BAT Co., which is headquartered near London, testified smoking can be a health risk but has not been shown conclusively to cause disease. Dixon, who appeared as an expert witness on smoking compensation, also said smoking may be habit-forming but is not addictive in the traditional definition of the word.
  • 04/09/98 Wednesday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday's quote: "Smoking is a major risk factor for many diseases. At a scientific level, they'd say there's a missing link between the high risk factor and causation." -- Michael Dixon

  • 04/02/98 Order by Supreme Court Justice CLARENCE THOMAS
      UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants, the response and the reply filed thereto, IT IS ORDERED that the application for stay is denied. The temporary stay entered by the undersigned on April 1, 1998 shall continue in effect until 5:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) on Monday, April 6, 1998.
  • 04/08/98 Order by Supreme Court Justice ANTONIN SCALIA
      The application for stay presented to Justice Scalia and by him referred to the Court is denied.

  • 04/10/98 BATCo Knew Smokers 'Compensated' AP
      British-American Tobacco Co. knew many smokers puffed faster and harder when smoking low-tar cigarettes but chose not to design a cigarette to prevent such compensation, according to a document presented yesterday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. . . Dixon was questioned about a 1981 internal BATCo memo in which a BATCo scientist discussed the application of smoking-behavior research to marketing. "It was agreed that efforts should not be spent on designing a cigarette which, through its construction, denied the smoker the opportunity to compensate or oversmoke to any significant degree," the scientist wrote in the memo.
  • 04/10/98 Tobacco Company Sought Support Through Scientific Grant Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The proposal was contained in a 1979 internal BAT document introduced Thursday during the $1.77 billion smoking-and-health trial in St. Paul. . . During cross-examination, an attorney for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota introduced the document to suggest that the company tried to influence one prominent outside scientist. The document showed that the company made a tentative proposal to award Dr. M.A.H. Russell 55,000 pounds -- about $116,600 at that time -- to cover a three-year grant for a research fellow, overhead costs and the expansion of laboratories at London's Institute of Psychiatry.

  • 04/10/98 Tobacco Industry Argues Case For Removing Judge From Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      As Ramsey County District Judge KENNETH FITZPATRICK presided over Minnesota's tobacco trial Thursday, his "red face" and demeanor were debated in another St. Paul courtroom in an effort to remove him from the landmark case. Ironically, Chief District JUDGE LAWRENCE COHEN . . said he will rule shortly on the matter, as well as the industry's protest over legal fees charged by Fitzpatrick's law clerk, MICHELLE JONES.
  • 04/10/98 Tobacco Lawyers Seek Removal Of Judge Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 04/10/98 Defense: Remove Minn. Tobacco Judge AP
      A chief judge is considering a defense motion to remove the judge presiding over Minnesota's tobacco trial, but not without first expressing some deep reservations about the request. Lawyers for the tobacco industry claim JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK has demonstrated a pattern of bias against the defense throughout the 12-week trial. After hearing arguments from both sides Thursday, CHIEF JUDGE LAWRENCE COHEN said he would review the defense motion but did not indicate when a ruling would be announced.
  • 04/10/98 Minn. Judge To Study Judge-Bias Complaint By Tobacco Cos. Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 04/11/98 Scientist Says His Firm Pursued Safer Cigarettes St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. toxicologist testified Friday that company health research focused on finding ways to modify cigarettes to reduce the health risk. But SCOTT APPLETON, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for the No. 3 cigarette maker, said some biological tests didn't prove helpful and couldn't be used to gauge whether alternative cigarette designs might be less hazardous.
  • 04/11/98 Tobacco Scientist Says Years Of Research Mostly Inconclusive Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The ultimate hope was to make a cigarette with reduced biological activity," Appleton said. Appleton said the mouse-painting experiments, in which skin tumors were created, eventually fell out of favor with the scientific community because they didn't answer questions about respiratory carcinogens, the type most apt to cause disease in humans.
  • 04/11/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Key quotes: "This day marks the absolute turn in the power of the tobacco industry in the U.S." -- Joseph Daly, a Hamline University Law School professor, on Monday's Supreme Court ruling releasing 39,000 contested industry documents. "In eight weeks [of trial] there has been no proof that the state was misled in any way. These documents won't help." -- Philip Morris attorney Greg Little on the document release.
  • 04/11/98 Tobacco Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Friday's quote: "The ultimate hope was to make a cigarette with reduced biological activity." -- Scott Appleton, commenting on decades of research on smoking and disease

      Here is a list of events in Minnesota for Saturday-Friday, April 11-17, for your planning purposes. . . MINNEAPOLIS - 10:30 a.m. - Attorney General Hubert HUMPHREY III and Blue Cross-Blue Shield CEO Andy CZAJKOWSKI inspect tour the storehouse of tobacco documents at HENNEPIN BUSINESS CENTER, 1021 10th Ave. S.E. Details: Leslie Sandberg at 296-2069 or 538-3707.
  • 04/11/98 Tobacco-trial Documents To Be Open To Public AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      Members of the public will be able to use computers to search through indexes of the available documents, then have staffers fetch the papers they want to see. A copying service will operate on site.

  • 04/14/98 Tobacco Document Depository Opens . . . But Public Slow To Visit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Jonathan Redgrave, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said the industry intends to place all the depository documents on the Internet ( www.tobaccoresolution.com) in six to eight weeks. Even after the documents are placed on the Internet, the industry plans to keep the depository open at least through the litigation, he added. That could could be several years with appeals. . . . Ravnitzky . . . . said. . . "On the Internet, it takes forever to get the documents, and they are not that clear. Any serious researcher is going to have to go to the depository."
  • 04/14/98 Humphrey Hopes Tobacco Document Depository Gets Extensive Use AP
      But Humphrey said he hopes that interest in the archive extends beyond the legal community and Congress. He said he hopes students and health professionals also take advantage of the facility. He said researchers and students may be interested in other areas than those a lawyer trying a case would need. Michael Ravnitzky, a student at the William Mitchell College of Law and a member of the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota, was the first member of the general public to visit the depository.
  • 04/14/98 Minnesota Tobacco-document Depository Opens To The Public Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      43 people jostled their way inside in the first few hours. Only one of them, though, was actually there to research documents. And he assured the waves of reporters and photographers assaulting him for interviews that "licorice is the key to this whole thing." Michael Ravnitzky, a law student from St. Paul -- typed the word "licorice" into the depository's computerized search index and came up with scores of hits from files of tobacco companies. . . During an afternoon hearing before Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, state attorney Roberta Walburn said 39,000 previously confidential documents obtained by the state last week were unusually revealing . . . "These documents sat in lawyers' files for 40 years," Walburn said. "If these documents had been produced in accord with [previous] litigation and requests from Congress, the course of history would have been changed."
  • 04/13/98 Tobacco Documents Released in Minn AP
      Although some of the most telling papers have already been used in the trial, the remainder should provide reading for health researchers, lawyers, law students, reporters and tobacco trial junkies for years. . . The first member of the public to look at documents was MICHAEL RAVNITZKY, a student at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and a member of the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota. Ravnitzky wanted to learn about how the tobacco companies have lobbied the state Legislature. "I've read that they've spent millions," he said.
  • 04/13/98 Tobacco Document Warehouse Now Open To Public Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 04/13/98 Tobacco files in Minnesota case thrown open to public Reuters
  • 04/13/98 Internal Tobacco Papers Made Public AP
      The high-security warehouse guarding some 26 million pages of internal tobacco company documents gathered for Minnesota's lawsuit against the industry was opened today to the public. However, the only people waiting when the doors opened were reporters.
  • 04/13/98 Tobacco Document Depository Opening To Public AP
  • 04/12/98 Amid Millions Of Tobacco Documents, A Single One Stands Out Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It entered the Minnesota tobacco trial as plaintiffs' exhibit 21,905. From the files of American Tobacco Co., the four-page document offered a candid and sobering industry assessment of a gruesome-sounding smoking experiment on dogs. "[W]e believe that the Auerbach work proves beyond reasonable doubt that fresh whole cigarette smoke is carcinogenic to dog lungs and therefore it is highly likely that it is carcinogenic to human lungs," wrote a company research manager to the head of Gallaher Ltd., American Tobacco 's British-based sister company. The memo, dated April 3, 1970, was entered as evidence in the Minnesota trial in an attempt to show that tobacco companies for decades knew of the link between smoking and disease.

      THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED All claims of attorney-client privilege or attorney work product protection shall be deemed waived with respect to all documents produced after April 17, 1998, unless the party claiming privilege can show good cause for delay in production of the document for which privilege is claimed.
  • 04/16/98 $ADV18: Spin Doctor Rhetoric Abounds Outside Tobacco Trial Courtroom AP
      Depending on who' s talking, they' re " the crown jewels of the conspiracy, " " smoking howitzers" or the " iceberg" that is sinking " the Big Tobacco ship." Without the colorful characterizations of the spin doctors, however, they' re a lot of papers from internal tobacco company files . . .
  • 04/16/98 Retired Judge MILES LORD Predicts State Victory In Tobacco Trial AP
      A retired federal judge who presided over numerous high-profile lawsuits in his day is predicting a big victory for the plaintiffs in Minnesota' s tobacco trial. Miles Lord, who served from 1966 to 1985, was a special guest Wednesday in the federal courtroom that Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick has borrowed for the state' s $1.77 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
  • 04/16/98 State Attacks Role Of Lawyers In Tobacco Company Secrets Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco industry lawyers suppressed smoking-and-health research to avoid government regulation and limit legal liability in lawsuits brought on behalf of sick smokers, industry documents indicated Wednesday. The role of corporate attorneys was deliberate and strategic over the past 40 years as the industry successfully won its cases in the courts, lead Minnesota attorney Michael Ciresi said as he read from previously confidential company memos.
  • 04/15/98 Document Shows Lawyer Involvement In Tobacco Research Dow Jones (pay registration)
      In a 1989 memo, J. Kendrick Wells, then Assistant General Counsel at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., wrote that "it is important to avoid production of the documents as long as possible." "It is crucial to avoid the production of scientific witnesses and documents at this time even if production were to occur in the indefinite future," Wells wrote.
  • 04/15/98 Memo Shows Tobacco Cos. Stalled AP
      An attorney advised a cigarette maker in 1989 to avoid producing internal documents for use in trials as long as possible, according to a memo introduced Wednesday in Minnesota's tobacco trial. J. Kendrick Wells III, counsel for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., outlined his views on document production in a memo to chief executive R.J. Pritchard.
  • 04/15/98 Minnesota Jurors See Contested RJR Memo Washington Post
      The memo goes on to describe seven main reasons that "about 15 reports each year" are "invalidated," including confidentiality, discoveries of inaccuracies or "erroneous interpretation of data." . . "It shows very, very clearly and dramatically how these lawyers and scientists were conspiring together, joining together to destroy documents and alter research," said Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III in an interview.
  • 04/15/98 Reynolds Memo Says Official Outlined Plan For Sanitizing Files St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "For the first time ever, we are seeing direct evidence that the tobacco lawyers and scientists conspired to destroy documents and alter research on smoking and health to hide the truth from the courts and the public," Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said. Michael Ciresi, an attorney for the state and Blue Cross, introduced the Reynolds document while questioning Scott Appleton, a Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. toxicologist who formerly worked for Reynolds. "There's no indication that actually happened," Appleton said of the memo.
  • 04/15/98 Tobacco Purged Files And Slanted Research, State Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 04/15/98 R.J. Reynolds Had System in 1960s To Remove Some Research Reports The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      In the 1969 memo, written in response to a request by a Reynolds lawyer recommending that certain research reports be "invalidated," a Reynolds scientist answered that the company could cite "misinterpretation of data" and "overcrowding" as reasons to remove the reports.
  • 04/14/98 Memo Shows Tobacco Co. Hid Research AP
      "Once it becomes clear that such action is necessary for the successful defense of our present and future suits, we will promptly remove all such reports from our files," research director Murray Senkus wrote in the 1969 memo to the company's legal department.
  • 04/14/98 Disputed Papers Appear In Minnesota Tobacco Trial Reuters
      The first documents from files that the tobacco industry fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep secret were introduced in court on Tuesday. But the two sides in Minnesota's $1.77 billion damage suit against cigarette makers disagreed over what they implied. One document was a 1969 memo from a senior research scientist at R. J. Reynolds to the company's legal department in which he said he did not see any difficulty if certain reports were removed from research files.
  • 04/14/98 First Of 39,000 Tobacco Documents Emerges In Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The document, a Nov. 23, 1993 letter from a Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. lawyer to an outside lawyer, expresses concern about whether Scott Appleton was keeping abreast of matters in the scientific field. Appleton, director of scientific and regulatory affairs at Brown & Williamson, is the defense's sixth witness. "Is Scott Appleton's current practice regarding information about scientific developments adequate?" Michael Ciresi, the state's lead attorney, read from the 1993 document. "Among other considerations, should he attend some of the scientific conferences normally attended by toxicologists? Would it be helpful to talk to outside scientists?"

  • 04/18/98 Koop Visits Minnesota Tobacco Trial
      At a news conference during the afternoon court break, the 81-year-old physician spoke about the trial at a podium outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building. The doctor declared the Minnesota trial as pivotal to the brewing national legislation in Congress, talked of the addictive nature of nicotine and discussed the future of America as a more smoke-free society.
  • 04/17/98 Former Surgeon General KOOP Draws Spotlight In Minn. Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      It's unclear if Koop's presence in the audience made an impression on the jury, who occasionally turned their heads to look around the courtroom. One or two of the 12 jurors seemed to notice Koop and recognize him.
  • 04/17/98 Defense Downplays Nicotine Effects AP
      PETER ROWELL, a professor and researcher at the University of Louisville, used several studies and textbooks to show that nicotine is habit-forming but not addictive in the same way as drugs such as cocaine, morphine and heroin. ``I would say nicotine is on the low end of the spectrum ... more similar to caffeine than it is to the classical drugs of abuse in its pharmacological activity,'' said Rowell, testifying for the tobacco company defendants in Minnesota's tobacco trial.
  • 04/17/98 Ex-top Doc KOOP Plans To Observe Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Dr. C. Everett Koop, who as U.S. surgeon general declared war on tobacco 10 years ago, will attend the Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul today during a weekend stop in the Twin Cities. Later in the day, Koop and Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III will talk about tobacco policy issues at a Golden Valley dinner meeting sponsored by the American Lung Associations of Minnesota and Hennepin County
  • 04/17/98 Attorney General Denies Rumors Of Settlement Talks Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Though a chief negotiator of last year's national tobacco settlement was in the Twin Cities this week, a spokeswoman for Minnesota Attorney General HUBERT H. HUMPHREY denied that a settlement of this state's case is in the works. The Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis said MEYER KOPLOW, a lawyer with the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, stayed one night at the hotel, checking out Wednesday morning.
  • 04/17/98 Thursday's Developments Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Witness Peter Rowley of the University of Louisville Medical School will testify.
  • 04/17/98 Tobacco Firms Lose Bid To Have Judge Dismissed St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 04/17/98 Motion Denied: Judge Has Been Fair At Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ruling that Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick has run the Minnesota tobacco trial "in a fair and evenhanded manner," Chief Judge LAWRENCE COHEN on Thursday refused to remove Fitzpatrick and denied an industry request for a mistrial. "None of JUDGE FITZPATRICK'S statements, expressions or conduct displayed a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism which would make fair judgment impossible," Cohen wrote in an eight-page ruling. "At most, they were expressions of impatience, dissatisfaction, and annoyance with the defendants' tactics."
  • 04/16/98 Tobacco Co. Denies Hiding Research AP
      But Appleton said the research did continue and found that painting cigarette tar on the backs of mice did produce tumors. Results of the study were published in The British Journal of Cancer in 1967. . . "What difference does the position of lawyers make in real world decisions?" defense attorney David Bernick said outside the courtroom. "It's fine to capture the thoughts of lawyers, but the real question is what research got done."
  • 04/16/98 State Continues To Unveil New Tobacco Records St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Bernick told reporters no stalling took place in either case, and that the memo about avoiding litigation disclosures related to a case in Canada. "All that's taking place here is that you have a document that gets plucked out of millions of pages of documents where somebody had a thought that today we might say was an unholy thought that never turned into a recommendation or client action," Bernick said.
  • 04/16/98 1980 Philip Morris Memo Spoke Of Need to Hide Nicotine Studies Washington Post
      "Here you have a memo that lays out them saying it [nicotine] is a drug" and that "they have to cover it up," Kessler said. "The hard thing to understand, in light of this memo, is how the lawyers for the industry have denied the fact that nicotine is a drug."
  • 04/16/98 Philip Morris Memo Outlines Strategy To Study How Nicotine Affects Brain The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      An unusually frank memo by a top scientist for Philip Morris Cos., written in 1980, outlined how the cigarette maker might continue to quietly study the explosive topic of nicotine's effect on the brain without attracting regulatory scrutiny. Written by William L. Dunn, the memo described the study of nicotine's impact on the brain as "where the action is for those doing fundamental research on smoking, and from where most likely will come significant scientific developments profoundly influencing the industry. Yet it is where our attorneys least want us to be ... ." The memo, dated March 21, 1980, was addressed to then-research chief Robert B. Seligman.
  • 04/19/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "I think the jurors will find it unremarkable that lawyers were involved in decision making." -- Brown & Williamson attorney DAVID BERNICK, rebutting the state's assertion that tobacco company lawyers controlled the flow of scientific and health-related research. * This week: LYNN BEASLEY, executive vice president of marketing for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., will testify for the defense. She is followed by expert witness Kip Viscusi of Harvard Law School.
  • 04/18/98 Friday In The Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Friday quote: "America is watching this trial. Public health needs to have this kind of trial happen to get documents out . . .. Every day new information is coming out that is a surprise to people." -- American Lung Association Managing Director John Garrison, who visited the trial this week

  • 04/18/98 Rhetoric Rules Day at Tobacco Trial AP
      Are tobacco companies part of an "outlaw industry" involved in "decades of deceit" and a "40-year game of hide and seek?" . . . Spin doctors -- press secretaries, media relations consultants and attorneys -- have had an active role in the trial as they put their side's twist on each day's proceedings.
  • 04/18/98 Spin City: Sound Bites, Pr And Vips Mark Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It was sound-bite week at the Minnesota tobacco trial, culminating Friday with an appearance by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop . . Koop called the trial "one of the most important things that has ever happened in the tobacco wars" and said it would affect the debate on a national tobacco settlement underway in Congress.

  • 04/21/98 More Documents Turned Over To Minn. In Tobacco Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies Tuesday turned over more internal documents to lawyers for the state of Minnesota, part of a court-ordered penalty regarding pre-trial depositions. . . David Bernick . . said about 2,000 more documents were turned over to the state earlier Tuesday.
  • 04/21/98 Tobacco Co. Tells of Tar Reduction AP
      Philip Morris researcher E.W. ROBB reported 35 years ago that a test he devised indicated "considerable amounts of nitrosamines in smoke." But it wasn't until 1983 that the cigarette maker assigned about a dozen researchers to begin trying to reduce nitrosamines in smoke, according to another memo written to A. CLIFTON LILLY JR., then director of technology assessment for Philip Morris. "Do you know how many people died of lung cancer during that period of time?" attorney Michael Ciresi asked Lilly during cross-examination Tuesday.
  • 04/21/98 Joe Camel's Creator Defends Ad Icon St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Joe Camel . . . has an alter ego, Minnesota tobacco jurors discovered Monday. That person is LYNN BEASLEY, who grew up in Wisconsin as part of a large farm family and with little of Joe's edginess. Beasley, executive vice president of marketing for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., testified she took a job in 1982 with the tobacco firm that created Joe Camel, after company officials satisfied her they would never market to children and after getting approval from her parents and her marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 04/21/98 Joe Camel Ad Campaign Creator Says RJR Doesn't Target Kids Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 04/21/98 Joe Camel Campaign Not For Kids, Says Tobacco Witness Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Joe Camel was created to revive a flagging advertising campaign for Camel cigarettes and never was intended to persuade minors to start smoking, tobacco executive Lynn Beasley testified Monday. . . "We wanted someone who's fun, who you'd like to be around," Beasley said, noting that focus groups were enthusiastic about the cartoon "smooth character," who was often shown in hip situations. "My team came up with the name," Beasley said. "He was an average guy, you know the phrase, average Joe."
  • 04/20/98 RJ Reynolds Testifies on Joe Camel AP
      The creator of Joe Camel took the stand Monday in Minnesota's tobacco trial, denying that she ever intended the cartoon character to draw underage smokers to Camel cigarettes. Lynn Beasley, now executive vice president of marketing for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said . . . "One of the big problems we had with Camel was that it was considered to be a really harsh, bad-tasting brand, even though it wasn't. . . The campaign was perceived as a problem" because the man was seen as a loner and "I hate to say it, a bad imitation of Marlboro."
  • 04/20/98 R.J. REYNOLDS To Tell Its Side Of JOE CAMEL Story Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The defense planned today to call LYNN BEASLEY, an executive with the nation' s No. 2 cigarette company and a key figure behind the Joe Camel marketing strategy.
  • 04/23/98 Former Tobacco Executive Says Youths Never Targeted St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 04/22/98 Former Philip Morris Exec. Says Co. Aims For Adult Smokers Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Philip Morris Cos. (MO) only markets its cigarettes - including advertising and promotions - to people over 18 and to nonsmokers, James Morgan, former head of the company's domestic cigarette business, told jurors Wednesday in Minnesota's trial against the tobacco industry here.
  • 04/23/98 Wednesday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Morgan faces cross-examination by state attorney Richard Gill. * Wednesday quote: "The decision was to focus on the American West as representative of the cigarette. It was big. It was masculine. It was American. It was flavorable." -- James Morgan, describing how Philip Morris began using cowboys to market Marlboro cigarettes to men after its inception as a women's brand
  • 04/23/98 Former Philip Morris Exec Takes Jurors to Marlboro Country Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Marlboro became the world's best-selling cigarette through a combination of luck, strategic repositioning of its target market and changing cultural icons, former Philip Morris Chief Executive James Morgan testified Wednesday. But Marlboro's handlers never looked to the underage market for sales of its once struggling brand and never targeted non-smokers for Marlboro or any of Philip Morris' brands, Morgan said in the Minnesota tobacco trial.
  • 04/23/98 Former Philip Morris Head Says Company Never Marketed To Kids AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The cigarette company that makes Marlboro does not aim its marketing at children or nonsmokers, a retired Philip Morris chief executive testified. James Morgan, who testified a year ago in a Florida case that he found cigarettes no more addictive than Gummi Bears, was less colorful when he took the stand Wednesday in Minnesota' s tobacco trial.
  • 04/22/98 End Is In Sight For Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Philip Morris attorney Peter Bleakley, who leads the defense, said Tuesday that the industry could rest by the end of next week. "We're in the home stretch," Bleakley said outside the federal building in St. Paul where the trial is being held.

  • 04/22/98 Tobacco Exec Refutes Ad Accusations AP
      "I have never seen a marketing strategy for any of our brands that suggests targeting people under age 18," said James Morgan, who joined Philip Morris in 1963 and was president and chief executive from 1994 until he retired in late 1997. . . I believe and the company believes, it has believed, that the decision (to smoke) should be made by adults," Morgan said. "Marketing strategies at Philip Morris have no room for marketing to people under 18. It is wrong. We have never done it."
  • 04/22/98 Litigants In Minnesota Tobacco Lawsuit Spar Over Cigarette Safety St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Big Tobacco used one of its own scientists Tuesday to blunt allegations in the Minnesota tobacco trial that it dragged its feet in developing safer cigarettes. However, the company also knew in 1963 that cancer-causing nitrosamines existed in cigarette smoke and failed to either inform the public of them or make a concerted effort to extract them for more than 20 years, according to documents introduced during the trial Tuesday.
  • 04/22/98 Philip Morris Scientist Describes Efforts To Cut Tar Levels AP
      A. CLIFTON LILLY JR. told jurors in Minnesota' s tobacco trial Tuesday that tar in regular Marlboro fell from 25 milligrams in 1965 to 16 milligrams in 1994, while Marlboro Lights had 11 milligrams. In 1992, Marlboro Ultra Lights were test marketed with 6 milligrams of tar, and by 1994, the company' s lowest-tar product, Merit Ultima, had only 1 milligram, he said. However, Lilly also acknowledged that Philip Morris makes no safety claims about its lower-tar cigarettes.
  • 04/25/98 Youth Smoking Issue Again The Center Of Attention At Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Despite assertions by Philip Morris Companies Inc. that it did not market to underage teens, the company's executives were keenly aware of Marlboro's popularity with high school students and the company's strong market share with that demographic. A 1979 Philip Morris memo said, "Marlboro dominates in the 17 and younger category, capturing over 50 percent of this market."
  • 04/24/98 Ex-Tobacco Exec: Ads Swayed Teens AP
      "If you're asking me to swear that it did not influence people under 18, I cannot do that," former Philip Morris USA president James Morgan said in his third day of testimony at Minnesota's tobacco trial.
  • 04/24/98 Former Philip Morris President, Ceo Continues Testimony St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Morgan, who from 1994 to 1997 was president and chief executive officer of Philip Morris, spent his second day on the stand Thursday discussing issues that included his lucrative retirement package, low-tar cigarettes, and children and smoking. Philip Morris is the largest tobacco manufacturer in the United States.
  • 04/23/98 Ex-Tobacco Chief Denies Accusations AP
      "It has to attract smokers new to Philip Morris. New smokers has become a buzzword for kids. I am not going to agree to new smokers," said James Morgan, president and chief executive from 1994 until he retired in late 1997.
  • 04/24/98 Tobacco Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Thursday's quote: "The happiest day of my life would be the day the last underage kid smoked." -- James Morgan
  • 04/24/98 Philip Morris Didn't Seek Underage Smokers, Former CEO Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "The happiest day of my life would be the day the last underage kid smoked," JAMES MORGAN testified under cross-examination by state attorney RICHARD GILL. "The stock is depressed because of those allegations." . . "We do not target that [younger] age group," he said. That teens smoke "is an uncalculated outcome from the effort [the company] makes on the 18-24 age group. . .On another matter Thursday, tobacco defendants asked Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick to inquire about a press release from Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey on Wednesday containing a document from the 39,000 that were released this week on the Internet. The defendants claimed that Humphrey's office may have violated a protective order on the material by releasing it as a press release when it wasn't clear whether it was yet available on the Internet.
  • 04/23/98 Trial Takes Tobacco Debate To New Level USA Today
      The 39,000 sensitive Big Tobacco documents placed online Wednesday might have remained secret if it were not for Minnesota. Last June, 39 other states agreed to settle their lawsuits against cigarette makers. But Minnesota Attorney General Hubert "Skip" Humphrey III soldiered on alone and took Minnesota vs. Philip Morris Inc. to trial.
  • 04/26/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week: Testimony might conclude by the end of the week. David Scheffman, an antitrust expert, is expected to testify for the defense on Monday
  • 04/25/98 KELLEY Sits In On Minnesota Tobacco Trial AP/Detroit News
      The attorneys general of MICHIGAN and IOWA sat in on the tobacco trial here Friday to get a feel for what they might expect if their own cases get to trial. "Nothing like this has ever happened in America," Michigan Attorney General FRANK KELLEY said. "This is the largest single tort case in the history of the United States. No attorney general has ever submitted to the risk of having 30 law firms against him."
  • 04/27/98 Tobacco Trial Testimony Expected To Wrap Up As Soon As Friday AP
      Defense attorney Peter Sipkins notified all parties Friday evening that his side planned to call five more witnesses. He said the defense may rest as early as Friday, but perhaps not until next Monday or Tuesday. . ." This trial should be over, " Ciresi said. " We' ve proved the case overwhelmingly. We want to argue the case to the jury. We want to get it to the jury so the jury can render its verdict and get out and enjoy a fine Minnesota spring."
  • 04/27/98 Minn. Tobacco Trial Nears End AP
      But as testimony nears an end, the "smoking howitzers," as the plaintiffs so often called them, have fallen silent. Except for a document used last week, the plaintiffs have not used any of the hard-won papers since the April 14-16 testimony of Scott Appleton, a toxicologist for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
  • 04/29/98 Plaintiffs Deny Analyst's Report That Settlement Might Be Near St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Settlement is not imminent," Johnson said. "Gary Black has predicted that the Minnesota case would settle for the last eight months and . . . he has been flat-out wrong." Even so, Johnson said he expects the industry to make settlement overtures now that the trial is nearing the end.
  • 04/29/98 Settlement Speculation Arises Again In Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "Our view is that there will be some resolution to this in the next week," Black said in an interview. Though he declined to reveal his sources, Black said they included people close to the plaintiffs and the defense. "Have I talked with [lead state attorney] Michael Ciresi? No. But we're hearing it from people on both sides," said Black, who is with the New York investment management firm Sanford Bernstein & Co.
  • 04/28/98 Analyst Says Minn. Tobacco Trial 'Very Close' To Settling Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Gary Black said he expects the tobacco industry and the state of Minnesota to reach an out-of-court settlement as early as this weekend or early next week in the state's $1.77 billion Medicaid case against the industr.
  • 04/29/98 Cigarette Health Claims Cited In Antitrust Arguments St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The 1953 ad promised that Chesterfield cigarettes would not adversely affect the nose, throat and "accessory organs." . . . The question raised Tuesday at the Minnesota tobacco trial is whether the unsupported health claims ended because of a tobacco industry conspiracy -- or government regulation.

  • 04/28/98 Tobacco Cos. Pulled '50s Health Ads AP
      The heads of the major cigarette companies met in New York with representatives of HILL & KNOWLTON, a public relations firm, in December 1953. The plaintiffs say the meeting marked the start of an antitrust conspiracy not to compete on smoking and health issues and the end of ads making competing health claims. But David Scheffman, who worked with the Federal Trade Commission for nine years on enforcing antitrust laws, testified for the defense that there was no suppression of competition among cigarette makers. . . Meanwhile, a tobacco analyst for the New York securities firm Sanford C. Bernsetin & Co. cited sources on both sides of the lawsuit as saying a settlement could come as soon as the weekend. "Both sides seem to indicate that they're not that far apart," said the analyst, Gary Black. Michael Ciresi, the lead attorney for plaintiffs, called talk of a settlement "a flat-out lie," saying Black had talked to no one from the plaintiffs' side.
  • 04/28/98 Witness Disputes Key Charge In Tobacco Suit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "It is totally, economically implausible . . . to engage in a conspiracy that would shrink the size of the market by 50 percent," said David Scheffman .
  • 04/27/98 Antitrust Expert Testifies Tobacco Cos. Didn't Conspire Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 04/28/98 Defense Expert Says Antitrust Allegations Against Tobacco Groundless AP
      DAVID SCHEFFMAN of Vanderbilt University . . . said he found nothing to support the claim that the cigarette makers conspired to suppress " fundamental competition" on smoking and health issues. He said the defendants had no reason to limit research that might have led to safer cigarettes because successfully introducing them would have been a boon to their business. " This is an industry with a lot of competition on price, marketing and introduction of products, " Scheffman said. " It makes no sense to have a conspiracy the effect of which ... would be to dramatically reduce industry sales."

  • 04/30/98 Minnesota's Tobacco Holdings Questioned AP/Winston-Salem Journal
      Jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial should know that the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota have millions of dollars invested in tobacco-related securities, tobacco companies said yesterday. The defendants filed a motion asking District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick of Ramsey County to admit into evidence two charts summarizing tobacco-related investments of the plaintiffs.

  • 04/30/98 Big Tobacco, Minnesota Negotiating, Sources Say LA Times
  • 04/30/98 Tobacco Settlement Is Far From Certain In Minnesota The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Tobacco companies are making settlement overtures in Minnesota, where the state's suit to recover health-care expenditures tied to smoking is expected to go to a jury late next week. But so far, people familiar with negotiations said, the industry remains far from meeting any of the goals set by Minnesota and its co-plaintiff in the case, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota, for an acceptable settlement. Neither side would describe any details of the discussions, but no agreement is imminent, they said.
  • 04/30/98 Damages Claim In Tobacco Trial Is Inflated, Expert Says Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      William Wecker, a private consultant and college professor, said the state also attributed huge expenses to the nursing-home care of two 94-year-old women, even though one quit smoking in 1936 and the other smoked for only a year. "This is a calculation that's going to scoop up the difference [between treating smokers and nonsmokers] even if it is not related to smoking -related diseases," Wecker said.
  • 04/30/98 Tobacco Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday's quote: "Whatever the source of the extra cost for the smoker, they added it up, and if it's more than the nonsmoker, they put it in the claim." -- Wecker, asserting that the state's damages claim includes many health care expenses that cannot be attributed to smoking.
  • 04/30/98 Smoking Health Costs Challenged AP
      Cigarette companies, whose executives are accused of ignoring health concerns to protect profits, are attacking the bottom line of Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The lawsuit's $1.77 billion damage claim is flawed because it includes costs for problems that have nothing to do with smoking -- hemorrhoids, schizophrenia and broken bones, a defense expert testified Wednesday.
  • 04/29/98 Witness Doubts Smoking Health Costs AP
      A statistician testified Wednesday that Minnesota's estimate of the health costs of smoking was flawed because it included such maladies as hemorrhoids, schizophrenia and broken bones. "These are not on the surgeon general's list" of smoking-related diseases, said WILLIAM WECKER, a consultant hired by the tobacco industry to analyze the plaintiffs' damage calculations. . . He said the state's calculation of costs for smokers in nursing homes included $108 million for women between the ages of 50 and 94. Wecker said $87 million of that was extrapolated from the cases of two 94-year-old women.

  • 05/01/98 State's Damages Claim Debated As Tobacco Lawsuit Nears End Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tedious statistical testimony marked the Minnesota tobacco trial Thursday, and attorneys for both sides began preparations for the final days before jurors receive the case.
  • 05/01/98 Harvard Statistician Says State' S Tobacco Damages Model Flawed AP
  • 05/01/98 Plaintiffs Attack Credibility Of Tobacco Defense Statistician AP
      As during most of the 14 weeks of testimony, jurors showed no emotion. But some yawned as attorney Tom Hamlin and statistician William Wecker went back and forth over the complex calculations the plaintiffs used to estimate their losses from treating smoking-related diseases. . . " This is worse than ' War and Peace, " ' Fitzpatrick said of the 5-inch thick report on his desk.
  • 04/30/98 Statistician Disputes Cost State Estimates For Smokers St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/03/98 Tobacco Trial Week In Review St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "It is totally, economically implausible . . . to engage in a conspiracy that would shrink the size of the market by 50 percent," said David Scheffman, now an economics professor at Vanderbilt University.
  • 05/03/98 Tobacco Trial Week in Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This week: The defense is expected to rest its case Monday. Jurors will spend Tuesday looking at documents from both sides. Closing arguments are likely to be Thursday and Friday, and jurors could receive final instructions Friday. An unofficial poll of attorneys last week estimated that deliberations would take two to 10 days.

  • 05/02/98 Industry Statisticians Say Smoking Cost Estimate Flawed, `Very Unreliable' St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/02/98 Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Monday: McCall's testimony continues. The defense is expected to rest its case. * Friday quote: "I think it is better to have more relevant data than less relevant data." -- Rubin, testifying that the state left too many holes when computing smoking-related health care costs
  • 05/02/98 State's Damages Claim Takes Two More Whacks At Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The final witnesses for the tobacco industry in the Minnesota smoking -and-health trial spent Friday taking shots at the statistical model used by the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to claim damages of at least $1.77 billion.
  • 05/01/98 Tobacco Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 04/27/98 When the Smoke Clears, the Suit May Settle
      In a telephone interview April 24, Andrew Czajkowski said that settlement is "always a likelihood." And although the industry does not now have an offer on the table, he says settlement had been discussed earlier in the trial, which began Jan. 20. "My thinking is [the defendants] can't feel very good about their case right now," says Mr. Czajkowski. "Based on everything I read and the opinion of our attorneys, everything1s going very, very well for us."
  • 05/05/98 Verdict Sought in Mn. Tobacco Trial AP
      Both the state and tobacco companies filed a flurry of motions Tuesday asking the judge to direct verdicts in their favor in Minnesota's tobacco trial. Tobacco companies argued that the plaintiffs have failed to prove their claims to such a degree that the jury need not deliberate. And the foreign-owned subsidiaries -- B.A.T. Industries PLC, the British parent of Brown & Williamson; British-American Tobacco; and BAT (U.K. & Export) Ltd. -- said the judge should rule in their favor because the plaintiffs did not show they had jurisdiction over foreign companies. One defendant got its wish when the plaintiffs without explanation dropped their case against BAT (U.K. & Export) Ltd., about which the jury heard little in 14 weeks of testimony.
  • 05/05/98 Minn. Tobacco Settlement Imminent AP
      Both sides have rested their cases in Minnesota's tobacco trial and are preparing for closing arguments amid a report that a multimillion-dollar settlement may be in the works.
  • 05/04/98 Tobacco Nightmare; Michael Ciresi Heads Trial Team Pushing For Big Tobacco's Worst Loss National Law Journal
  • 05/05/98 At A Glance St. Paul Pioneer Press
      A possible settlement in the Minnesota tobacco lawsuit involves at least these items, according to sources.
  • 05/05/98 Tobacco Industry Offers Minnesota $5 Billion Deal Washington Post
      Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore, who filed the first state suit against the industry in 1994, said settlement is "the smartest move" for Humphrey. "It's a sure win." Because juries and appellate courts are unpredictable, Moore said, Humphrey "can claim he did what he set out to do -- settle his case and put the money in the bank."
  • 05/05/98 Word Of Tobacco Deal Coloring Events St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "The power of an injunction depends on its specificity," said Daynard, the chairman of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, which assists attorneys suing the tobacco industry. "You can enjoin people from anything. It can sound wonderful and be absolutely worthless because a court just won't enforce it." . . . Other anti-smoking activists wondered how an injunction could affect retail sales to minors -- the main focus of efforts in Minnesota to control youth access to tobacco products. "The Legislature passed a bill -- no single packs on counters -- so what do they do? They put a rubber band around two packs and sell two of them at a time," said Jeanne Weigum, president of the Minnesota Association for Non-Smokers.
  • 05/05/98 Minnesota, Tobacco Firms Negotiating; Lawyer Fees Said To Be Key To Possible $5 Billion Deal Dallas Morning News
      If the industry caves in on the issue, however, it would have significant impact in the Texas case, where a settlement signed in January has bogged down in a controversy over lawyer fees. Under a special clause in the Texas agreement, any benefits awarded to other states must be accorded to Texas and its lawyers. "A decision by the tobacco companies to pay Ciresi's 25 percent contract would mean that they would have to pay the Texas lawyers' contract, too," said Richard Daynard, director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project in Boston. "That would instantly settle the lawyer fee dispute in Texas."
  • 05/05/98 Broad Terms Agreed Upon In Minnesota Tobacco Suit The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      With closing arguments set to begin as early as Wednesday, Minnesota and the tobacco industry have agreed on broad terms that would settle the state's landmark case seeking to recover health-care costs tied to smoking. People familiar with the negotiations, which began heating up last week, said several issues still must be resolved and all of them are potential deal breakers.

  • 05/05/98 Plaintiffs' Atty Sees Minn. Tobacco Case Going To Jury Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 05/04/98 Settlement Buzz Turns Up Heat At Tobacco Trial AP
      The possibility of a settlement was on the minds of everyone, including the judge, on Monday as the final witness in Minnesota' s tobacco trial completed his testimony.
  • 05/05/98 Tobacco Trial Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: There is no live testimony, as jurors are given the day to read documents from both the state and the defense side. * Monday quote: "It's highly possible that nonsmokers cost more than smokers." -- Brian McCall

  • 05/05/98 Settlement Talks Loom As Tobacco Lawyers Rest Their Case Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      With prospects for a settlement looming, testimony in the Minnesota tobacco trial came to a conclusion Monday amid much uncertainty as to how it all will end. After 3 months of courtroom sparring, tobacco industry attorneys said the testimony of their final witnesses effectively undercut the state's damages claim in the consumer fraud lawsuit. Attorneys for the state pronounced the defense strategy incoherent and thin. . . Gary Black of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said Monday that he remains "90 to 95 percent confident" that a settlement will be arranged by week's end. Black said the biggest sticking point appears to be legal fees, which the state wants the industry to pay. . . "It is possible that Humphrey may feel so confident about a jury decision heavily in favor of the plaintiff that he will continue to avoid a settlement," Feldman said in a report.
  • 05/04/98 Settlement Possible in Tobacco Case AP
      But the report hung over the proceedings Monday -- the 15th week of testimony -- as the industry called its last witness. . . Neither side would confirm the report, but they didn't deny it either, which was significant to Richard Daynard, a Northeastern University law professor who has advised parties in tobacco litigation. "If it wasn't real it would have been aggressively denied by now," he said.
  • 05/04/98 Minn. Tobacco Accord Said Possible AP
      Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III refused to confirm or deny the report today. "This case has always been about achieving our goals -- banning the marketing of tobacco to kids, exposing the full truth to the American public and forcing the tobacco industry to pay fully for the harm it's caused," he said in a two-sentence statement. "We intend to meet each of these goals and we are preparing to make closing arguments on Wednesday to the jury." day.
  • 05/04/98 Tobacco Deal On The Table St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Cigarette makers and the Minnesota attorney general worked intensively Sunday to settle the state's tobacco lawsuit under terms that include more than $5 billion in industry payments and an injunction against marketing to children, sources said. Negotiators for all parties, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, secretly agreed on the outline of a deal late last week and worked through the weekend to conclude it, sources told the Pioneer Press.
  • 05/04/98 Tobacco Lawsuit Timeline St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/04/98 Inside Talk: A Look at Minnesota Politics Short graph in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Verbatim "This trial in St. Paul . . . that the state has against the big tobacco companies is really a murder trial in my mind as a physician." -- DR. STU HANSON, lung specialist and president of the MINNESOTA SMOKE -FREE COALITION
  • 05/06/98 Lawyer Dissuaded Tobacco Researcher, Memo Suggests The New York Times
      The head of research for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. believed in the early 1980s that the government should regulate cigarettes but changed his mind after lawyers told him that such a move would hamper Reynolds' ability to market products, according to a memorandum by a company lawyer. "When he first came to the company, he thought that perhaps the company would be better off under FDA jurisdiction," an outside lawyer for Reynolds, whose parent is RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., wrote in a 1983 memorandum referring to the research official, G. Robert DiMarco. "He now understands from what the lawyers have told him that this might not be good because it might affect the ability of the company to market its products in supermarkets and other places."
  • 05/06/98 Documents Tell Of Smoking Kindergartners And Trips To The Woodshed Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Smoking by kids as young as kindergarteners and a " trip to the woodshed" for a tobacco executive were among the highlights Tuesday of the final batch of documents introduced in Minnesota' s tobacco trial.
  • 05/07/98 Judge In Minn. Tobacco Trial Gives Jury Instructions Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick told jurors that manufacturers have a duty to conduct research into the safety of their products and to inform consumers of the dangers associated with using their product. "This requires that tobacco companies keep abreast of hazards (caused) by their product, to disclose internal information relating to smoking and health," Fitzpatrick said from the bench. He added that tobacco companies' research can't be delegated to others outside the companies.
  • 05/07/98 Judge Crimps Defense; Tobacco Suit Near Jury St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Industry lawyers denounced the 70-minute instructions and predicted they will bring an easy appellate victory if the industry loses the $1.77 billion consumer fraud and antitrust lawsuit. "This charge is error incarnate," Robert Weber, an attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said outside the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul.
  • 05/07/98 Lawyers Approach High Noon; Closing Arguments Begin Today, Guaranteeing Memorable Drama St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Today's closing arguments in Minnesota's tobacco trial are likely to echo far beyond this week in legal history books. Lawyers were still busy Wednesday preparing their remarks for this final, pivotal chance to influence the jurors.
  • 05/07/98 Defense Gets One Last Chance To Persuade Jury In Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Robert Weber, who represents R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said the instructions were " riddled with error from beginning to end" and guaranteed a successful appeal if the tobacco companies lose. Weber also said the instructions improperly made it clear to the jurors how the judge thought they should rule. " We think that there are still viable claims and viable defenses that are there, " said David Bernick, who represents Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. " But obviously, this jury is not even beginning to be able to consider the full story."
  • 05/06/98 Tobacco Jury Gets Instructions AP
      The judge in Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit told the jurors Wednesday they may assume the worst from the tobacco companies' failure to produce some documents. If the jurors believe the companies destroyed documents, they may assume the contents would have damaged the companies, Ramsey County Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick said in his instructions to the jury.

  • 05/06/98 Settlement Unlikely In Minnesota Tobacco Trial CNN
      Industry documents released to jurors in the final days of the Minnesota tobacco trial include a report on smoking by children as young as 5. Meanwhile, attorneys for both sides on Wednesday continued to discuss the possibility of an out-of-court settlement, but said such a deal was unlikely.
  • 05/06/98 Minn. Tobacco Trial Winding Down AP
  • 05/06/98 Tobacco Negotiation `A Game Of Chicken' St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Negotiations for an out-of-court settlement can end a case abruptly or stretch into jury deliberations -- though there is no guarantee that will happen in this case. "It's the sort of thing that leaves you at 2 o'clock in the morning talking to yourself"
  • 05/06/98 Settlement Rumors Persist, But No Tobacco Deal Announced Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/07/98 Humphrey Says `Better Health, Not Just Victory' Is Goal Of Suit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "You don't get the knockout blow," he said. "You want to beat them up a little bit and feel good about it." . . Humphrey was the guest speaker at the third annual Carl J. Martinson Lecture on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, sponsored by the university's School of Public Health. His speech was titled, "Tobacco: Truth and Consequences."

  • 05/06/98 Trial Schedule St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Here is the schedule of events should Minnesota's tobacco case go to the jury.
  • 05/06/98 Judge To Give Instructions Today To Jury In Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      After 75 days of testimony, 40 witnesses, 2,933 exhibits and the birthdays of four jurors, a judge today is expected to tell the jury in the Minnesota tobacco trial what legal issues they must consider when they begin deliberations.
  • 05/05/98 One Defendant Dropped From Minn. Tobacco Trial Dow Jones (pay registration)
      An export unit of B.A.T Industries PLC (BTI) called British-American Tobacco Co., U.K. & Export Ltd., also known as "Batuke," was dropped as a defendant because plaintiffs didn't adequately prove "the export case," said David Bernick, a lawyer representing Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., also a unit of B.A.T Industries.

  • 05/06/98 Lawyer Dissuaded Tobacco Researcher, Memo Suggests The New York Times
      The head of research for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. believed in the early 1980s that the government should regulate cigarettes but changed his mind after lawyers told him that such a move would hamper Reynolds' ability to market products, according to a memorandum by a company lawyer. "When he first came to the company, he thought that perhaps the company would be better off under FDA jurisdiction," an outside lawyer for Reynolds, whose parent is RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., wrote in a 1983 memorandum referring to the research official, G. Robert DiMarco. "He now understands from what the lawyers have told him that this might not be good because it might affect the ability of the company to market its products in supermarkets and other places."
  • 05/06/98 Documents Tell Of Smoking Kindergartners And Trips To The Woodshed Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Smoking by kids as young as kindergarteners and a " trip to the woodshed" for a tobacco executive were among the highlights Tuesday of the final batch of documents introduced in Minnesota' s tobacco trial.

  • 05/06/98 Tuesday At The Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Jurors read new documents in the morning, and in the afternoon they receive instructions from Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick. * Tuesday quote: "There are still many things on the table. No one issue is holding things up." -- an industry source, who requested anonymity, referring to negotiations between the two sides over a possible settlement
  • 05/06/98 Tobacco Trial Legal Expert Available for Analysis/Comment Business Wire
      Steve Berman, attorney for 13 states with pending cases against the tobacco industry, is available to discuss the Minnesota trial now in closing arguments. Berman can give expert legal analysis of that case's rumored settlement terms as well as his opinion of the tobacco industry's defense. Berman is a lead attorney for his home state of Washington

  • 05/05/98 POINT OF VIEW: Looks Like A Lose-Lose Case For Big Tobacco Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Whatever the outcome - a jury verdict or an 11th-hour settlement - lawyers for the state of Minnesota have dealt tobacco companies a major defeat.
  • 05/08/98 Minnesota Tobacco Trial Ending Reuters
      "My only regret is that we have not had the latitude to put the full story before the jury," said David Bernick, representing Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. "If this case is to stand for a broader proposition ... how do people feel about smoking and health, this jury should have had an awful lot more information that they were not permitted to get," he added. "Information about the role the state played, the role taxes played, information about the role that individuals played."
  • 05/08/98 One Tobacco Firm Wants To Settle `Very Badly,' Source Says St. Paul Pioneer Press
      At least one of the major tobacco companies on trial in St. Paul wants "very badly" to settle the case before it goes to the jury and would be willing to cut its own deal with the state without the other cigarette makers, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday. "There clearly is one that wants to settle very badly," said the source, who asked that his name not be used. "I think the others, it's just hard to say. They may have played a role in muddying up the waters."
  • 05/08/98 Minnesota Resumes Tobacco Suit Talks The New York Times
      To restart talks, all parties put aside whether cities and counties may press claims to recover health care costs and allow courts to resolve the question, the lawyer said.
  • 05/08/98 Minn. Tobacco Negotiations Resume AP
      The two sides in Minnesota's tobacco trial continued negotiating a settlement of the state's billion-dollar lawsuit on Thursday as the start of jury deliberations drew near, a source said. . . Also Thursday, three media organizations -- the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and The Associated Press -- asked the judge to make public the identities of jurors and the questionnaires they filled out during jury selection.
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Firms Deny Charges St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "There has been a total failure of proof on damages," said Robert Weber, attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. "They have played statistical shenanigans with the jury." Weber said lawyers for the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota collected every tobacco industry mistake over the past four decades and molded them into an unsupported consumer fraud and antitrust case. He compared the state's case to creating a videotape of every error and strikeout by former Minnesota Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett. Said Weber: "It wouldn't be fair. It doesn't look at the whole context."
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Industry Lawyers Plead Their Case To Jury Members Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/08/98 For Tobacco Trial Jurors, The Final Act Begins Today Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      They are 12 faces without names. They seem a cohesive group, patient, with impressive attention spans. Barring a last-minute settlement, sometime today the jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial will retire to their seventh-floor jury room to begin deliberations.
  • 05/08/98 Document-heavy Trial Leaves Some Watchers And Players Bored Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      No bloody gloves in this trial. Some onlookers dropped their heads, some rubbed their eyes, one even sneaked an illicit peek at a book he had brought along. "Brutal," one spectator said in the coffee room. "There have been a lot of long days," R.J. Reynolds lawyer Robert Weber acknowledged as he summed things up for the jury. "I think today has been the longest."
  • 05/08/98 Thursday At The Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Today: Lead state attorney Michael Ciresi makes his closing arguments to the jury, which is expected to start deliberations in the afternoon. * Thursday's quote: "Two percent of overall sales are made to the underage group. What smart businessman and smart businesswoman would put a company at risk to go after 2 percent?"
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Gives Closing Arguments LA Times
  • 05/07/98 Tobacco Lawyers To Minn. Jury: Focus On Health-Care Cost The Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Lawyers for the tobacco companies told jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial Thursday that while smokers may be outcasts today, and cigarette companies may not be popular, the jury should focus on another issue: whether Minnesota actually incurred increased health-care costs as a result of any wrongdoing by cigarette makers. And the answer is no, Philip Morris Cos.'s (MO) lawyer, Peter Bleakley, said in his closing argument: Minnesota and co-plaintiff Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota haven't offered sufficient evidence to prove they suffered financial damage.

  • 05/08/98 In Settlement Talks, Stumbling Blocks Were Many And Large Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/07/98 Minn. Tobacco Settlement Talks Apparently Collapse Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 05/08/98 Settlement Talks Break Down In Minnesota Tobacco Lawsuit The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
  • 05/07/98 Tobacco Settlement Talks Break Off AP
      The impasse was reported hours after a judge presented jury instructions seen as damaging to the tobacco companies, and as the companies prepared to deliver their closing arguments in the closely watched case.
  • 05/04/98 STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HUMPHREY REGARDING SETTLEMENT RUMORS This is it in its entirety, from the MN AG's site.
      "This case has always been about achieving our goals -- banning the marketing of tobacco to kids, exposing the full truth to the American public and forcing the tobacco industry to pay fully for the harm it has caused. "We intend to meet each of these goals and we are preparing to make closing arguments on Wednesday to the jury."

  • 05/07/98 Minnesota and Blue Cross Tobacco Trial Headed for Jury Deliberations; Blue Cross CEO Andy Czajkowski Statement as Trial Comes to a Close Business Wire
      "This historic trial of Big Tobacco has already succeeded by revealing the truth about the tobacco industry. . . This trial has succeeded because it has motivated the public, it is making change happen, and that alone is a victory for Blue Cross and the people of Minnesota."
  • 05/07/98 Philip Morris Censored Data About Addiction The New York Times
      The world's largest cigarette maker stopped the publication of research in 1983 that found evidence that nicotine was addictive, days after outside lawyers warned the company that such research had "undesirable and dangerous implications" for smoking-related lawsuits. And two months after receiving the lawyers' warning that nicotine research at one of its laboratories could damage the industry in trials, the cigarette maker, Philip Morris Cos., tried to move the laboratory to Europe and, failing in that, closed it in early 1984. The memorandum, written by lawyers at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, a tobacco law firm in Kansas City, Mo., is among the industry documents that the state of Minnesota entered as evidence this week in its lawsuit against five tobacco companies.
  • 05/07/98 Documents Suggest Attorneys Sought To Limit Tobacco Research
      While the tobacco industry was telling the public and the government that it was hard at work researching the health effects of smoking, company lawyers were hard at work trying to curb that research for fear it would hurt the firms if it ever came out in court.
  • 05/07/98 The `Frank Statement' St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Following is the text of the 1954 tobacco industry advertisement that came to be known during Minnesota's tobacco trial as the "Frank Statement." In his jury instructions Wednesday, Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick said that jurors should assume in their deliberations that tobacco companies assumed a "special duty" by publishing the ad, and that jurors will have to determine whether the industry fulfilled that duty.
  • 05/07/98 To Attend Court St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Members of the public must have a pass to sit in on the closing arguments in Minnesota's tobacco trial today and Friday. Thirty-three seats have been reserved for the general public in the courtroom at the Warren E. Burger Federal Building, 316 N. Robert St., in downtown St. Paul.
  • 05/07/98 Tobacco Daily Summary Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday quote: "If the industry wants to settle on my terms, my door is open. But if they won't, I know that some things are worth fighting for." --Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III in a speech to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health on Wednesday
  • 05/07/98 Tobacco Talks Said To Snag Over Immunity From County Suits Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Meanwhile, in an undisclosed Twin Cities location, a small group of negotiators continued to struggle with terms of a settlement. The lead tobacco industry negotiator is New York City lawyer Meyer Koplow, who negotiated a national settlement last year. . . Negotiators for the state were said to be frustrated over industry demands, including one for immunity from smoking lawsuits brought by Minnesota counties.

  • 05/07/98 Closing Arguments Under Way In Minnesota Tobacco Trial CNN
      Jurors can draw a "negative inference" from the failure of tobacco companies to produce some documents in Minnesota's $1.77 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry, the judge said Wednesday.
  • 05/07/98 Jury Instructions Anger Tobacco Defense LA Times
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Industry 'Surrenders' To Minnesota CNN
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco companies settle Minnesota suit Reuters
  • 05/08/98 Settlement in Minn. Tobacco Trial AP
      Tobacco companies reached a $6.6 billion settlement of a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota and an insurance company today just as jurors were scheduled to hear more closing arguments in the 3 1/2-month-old trial. . . One woman on the jury began to cry as they were informed the case had been settled. The jury had been expected to get the case this afternoon.
  • 05/08/98 Highlights of Tobacco Trial AP
  • 05/08/98 Judge: Deal Reached In Tobacco Case UPI
      Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick today entered a consent judgment ending Minnesota's consumer fraud suit against the tobacco industry.
  • 05/08/98 Details On Tobacco Settlement UPI
      An analyst for Solomon, Smith Barney says the $6 billion deal worked out by the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross-Blue Shield and the nation's cigarette-makers provides $5 billion for the state, $400 million for Blue Cross, plus attorneys fees. . . Industry analyst MARTIN FELDMAN told reporters on the steps of the St. Paul courthouse, "It's a done deal." This morning's court session was abruptly canceled and court was postponed until 1:30 p.m. CDT.
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Companies Settle Minnesota Suit Reuters
      Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick of the Ramsey County Circuit Court told the jurors of the settlement but disclosed no details.
  • 05/08/98 Bulletin: Tobacco Deal Struck WCCO-TV
      WCCO-TV, CBS-Radio and now The Associated Press report that an out-of-court settlement has been reached in the historic tobacco trial in St. Paul.
  • 05/08/98 $6 Billion Tobacco Settlement Reported AP
      Minnesota has reached a $6 billion settlement of its lawsuit against tobacco companies, an attorney told the Associated Press today. John Coale, an anti-tobacco attorney who helped negotiate the national settlement last summer, told AP in Washington the deal was tentative. Details were to be announced later, he said. WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and CBS Radio in Washington also reported a tentative settlement, with the money to be paid over 25 years. Neither report named a source. In St. Paul, neither tobacco companies nor plaintiffs would confirm a settlement.
  • 05/08/98 Council For Tobacco Research To Disband UPI
      Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey says the $6 billion deal worked out with the tobacco industry calls for abolition of the Council for Tobacco Research.
  • 05/09/98 Settlement News Has Little Effect On Tobacco Stocks St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/08/98 Minnesota Settlement Fails To Lift Tobacco Stocks Reuters
      I just don't see where this is getting them, where does it all end," said industry analyst John Maxwell, who has rated the largest tobacco companies as industry underperformers because of their exposure to the lawsuits and prospects for a settlement in Washington. "I've been real surprised why they want to give away all this money," said Maxwell, an analyst with Richmond, Va.-based Davenport & Co.
  • 05/08/98 Statement Of John R. Garrison, Ceo, American Lung Association, Congratulating Attorney General Humphrey On The Big Win PR Newswire
      Attorney General Humphrey faced enormous public and political pressure to accept the sweetheart deal of June 20, 1997 that other state attorneys general negotiated with the tobacco industry. Attorney General Humphrey showed great courage when he stood up and said no to that bad deal.
  • 05/08/98 Pennsylvania Attorney General FISHER Lauds Minnesota Settlement as `Good News' PR Newswire
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Deal Hailed UPI
      NORTH DAKOTA SEN. KENT CONRAD is predicting the $6 billion deal ending Minnesota's consumer fraud suit against the tobacco industry will provide the impetus for a national deal.
  • 05/08/98 TFK Says Minnesota Sets New Standard for Tobacco Settlements US Newswire
      "The Minnesota settlement today advances the ball and sets a new, higher standard for all future settlements," said Campaign President Bill Novelli. "No state, in future settlement negotiations, will settle for less than Minnesota. If future cases go to trial, we would hope that the new floor would be raised even higher."
  • 05/08/98 R.J. Reynolds Says Minnesota Hearing Unfair Reuters
  • 05/08/98 R.J. Reynolds Issues Minnesota Statement PR Newswire
      "We agreed to the settlement because we concluded that it would be extremely difficult to reach a fair outcome, based on what we believe are a series of incorrect rulings by the court favoring the state, which in essence placed a loaded gun to our head. "When we have been allowed to present all of the relevant evidence and arguments in defending a case, jurors have denied plaintiffs recovery. We believe they will continue to do so in a fair hearing, given that a vast majority of Americans believe the industry should not be subjected to this type of litigation. . . In 1995, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals wrote about the absurdity of companies being faced with rolling the dice with a jury with the only likely alternative being bankruptcy. In denying certification for a class action for hemophiliacs, the court expressed concern '...with forcing these defendants to stake their companies on the outcome of a single jury trial, or be forced by fear of the risk of bankruptcy to settle even if they have no real liability...'
  • 05/08/98 Philip Morris U.S.A. Statement on Settlement of Minnesota Medicaid Suit PR Newswire
      "One thing is certain. Resolving these lawsuits, by trial or otherwise, will take by considerable time and resources for all parties, and result in inequitable treatment for the American people. Last June's proposed national tobacco settlement would have ensured that each state, and each individual plaintiff, would have had the opportunity to share equitably in the available funds, regardless of when the lawsuits were filed or scheduled for trial. That was lost when the proposed national settlement effort failed.
  • 05/08/98 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota the First to Sue Big Tobacco, the First to Win, a National Leader in Ending the Tobacco Epidemic PR Newswire
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Deal Means More Than Money AP
      "While the public is likely to focus on the huge financial recovery the tobacco industry has agreed to pay, we must not ignore the incredible public health gains this settlement has brought the state of Minnesota," said the SmokeFree 2000 Coalition, a state anti-smoking group.
  • 05/09/98 Minnesota Tobacco Lawsuit Settled MSNBC
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Companies Settle Minnesota Suit for $6.5 Billion The New York Times
  • 05/09/98 $6.6 Billion St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Settles Minnesota Suit Washington Post
  • 05/09/98 Big Tobacco Settles Minnesota Lawsuit for $6.6 Billion LA Times. Here's the item at the Austin American-Statesman
  • 05/08/98 Tobacco Industry To Pay $6.1B Over 25 Years Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 05/09/98 $7 Billon Deal Shuts Down State's Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Firms Take $6.6 Billion Hit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
      Big Tobacco settled with the State of Minnesota for $6.6 billion Friday, ending a four-month lawsuit and prompting speculation that Wisconsin could get just as much when its suit takes center stage next year.
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Industry Reaches Pact To Settle Minnesota Tobacco Suit The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
  • 05/09/98 Minn. Settles For $6 Billion From Tobacco Lexington (KY) Herald Leader

  • 05/09/98 Minnesota Settlement's Effects Will Ripple Across U.S. Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The 12th-hour deal settling Minnesota's tobacco case does not deliver the "knockout punch" of a jury verdict, but experts said it could drive the industry's cost in any national settlement to more than $500 billion. The $7.035 billion settlement in the Minnesota case "will blow the tobacco industry's sweetheart deal out of the water," declared Eric Johnson, the top aide to state Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III.
  • 05/08/98 Minnesota Deal Puts Out Just One Legal Fire For Big Tobacco Dow Jones (pay registration)
      Settling the multi-billion-dollar lawsuit in Minnesota may give the tobacco industry a break from the public onslaught of litigation and regulatory issues, but in reality, the deal plugs just one hole in a leaking dam.
  • 05/08/98 In Minnesota Settlement, Cigarette Ban Won't End Marketing Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The billboard ban has been part of past tobacco settlements because states want to limit cigarette marketing to children. Analysts said the Minnesota settlement goes no further than past settlements in Florida, Mississippi and Texas. "What the tobacco industry has tried to do here is largely keep intact many of the aspects of the original 1997 agreement they made with Congress," said Martin Feldman of Salomon Smith Barney. Florida dropped a final claim against cigarette makers last month that could have sought further restrictions on advertising.

  • 05/09/98 Where The Money Goes St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/09/98 Legal Scholars Say Lawyer Fees Aren't Excessive Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The 225-member firm stands to collect $466.4 million as part of the settlement. But the firm gave up its contractual right to 25 percent of the award, $1.64 billion in this case, under a deal worked out at a time when no one anticipated such a huge payoff.
  • 05/09/98 Policyholders Might Sue Blue Cross For Settlement Money
      Blue Cross has said it will dedicate the money to smoking-cessation programs, but the legal community is abuzz with rumors that policyholders might sue to require Blue Cross to pay the money to its subscribers in the form of refunds.
  • 05/08/98 Minn. Pact Encourages Insurer, Individual Suits Reuters
      "This is the green light for insurers," said Richard Daynard, chairman of the anti-smoking Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern University.
  • 05/09/98 Blake Morrison Staff Writer [on Blue Cross' Winnings] St. Paul Pioneer Press
      And the money comes at a good time for Blue Cross. In 1997, the insurer lost $10 million on operations. In 1996, it lost $35 million in operations. Blue Cross did finish both years in the black, however, due largely to profits it made on investments, particularly the stock market. Company officials say money from the settlement will go toward "past and future liabilities" for Blue Cross' fully insured members. In addition, the company plans to launch new research into smoking treatment and cessation programs, and make the programs available to their members.
  • 05/09/98 Smokers Will Pay Price Of Settlement Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Smokers, not tobacco barons, will pay most of the price of the Minnesota settlement, Wall Street analysts say. But even a $7.035 billion settlement paid out over 25 years will translate into just a few pennies a pack in higher cigarette prices and a minuscule decline in sales, experts said. "In the grand scheme of things, it's not going to cause the industry that much hardship," said Gary Black, securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

  • 05/09/98 Highlights Of Testimony At Minnesota's Tobacco TrialAP
  • 05/09/98 After 4 Months, Jury Wanted Its Day In Court St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Trial Jurors Say They Lost Money, Time And Now Sense Of Closure Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "I think what's frustrating is you assume it's government of the people, by the people, and for the people," said Jill Burton, a 37-year-old legal secretary and mother of two, known for the past four months as Juror No. 5. "You get here, and you are the people selected to represent Minnesota. So you fulfill your obligation, only to have the carpet pulled out from under you. Where have the people spoken? We'll never know."
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Jurors Wanted To Have a Say Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors who endured the 3 1/2 months of Minnesota' s tobacco trial said Friday they were upset the case was settled just hours before they were due to get it. " I was very disappointed. We went through a long, long process here and we didn' t get closure, " said Dorothy Hallen, 44, a self-employed cosmetologist.
  • 05/09/98 Scenes from a Settlement Pictures of people, places from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/09/98 Tobacco Trial Ends In Media Frenzy Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "History is being made," said Don Marchand, a Maplewood tax preparer who was watching the media swirl. "I'm an old man. I won't see much more." Harold Dison, a retired IBM employee from Rochester, Minn., happily watched the horde. He was killing time while his wife attended a sewing exhibition at RiverCentre. "I like the show," he said. "I saw [former U.S. District Judge] Miles Lord and told him the story about the guy who sued the tobacco companies for third-hand smoke. The reason is that he was dating an airline stewardess."

  • 05/09/98 Reaction Quotes from St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/09/98 LEAHY Statement on Minnesota Tobacco Settlement U.S. Newswire
  • 05/08/98 CLINTON Statement on Minnesota Tobacco Settlement US Newswire
  • 05/09/98 Gleeful Humphrey Skips Into Spotlight St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/09/98 For Humphrey, Outcome Marks a Personal Victory LA Times
  • 05/08/98 Minnesota Attorney General Calls Deal 'Triumph Of Truth' Dow Jones (pay registration)
  • 05/09/98 Humphrey's Gubernatorial Bid Gets Boost, But How Big? Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/09/98 Humphrey Savors The Victory In March From Courthouse Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/08/98 Other Tobacco Lawsuit Settlements AP

  • 05/09/98 WISCONSIN To Press Ahead With Own Tobacco Lawsuit St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Wisconsin Attorney General James Doyle, who has a similar lawsuit pending against the tobacco industry, applauded his Minnesota counterpart's view that a proposed national tobacco settlement was unsatisfactory for states and praised Hubert Humphrey III for pressing the state's legal action.

  • 05/09/98 UTAH: Is Tobacco Deal Good News For Utah? Deseret News

  • 05/09/98 TEXAS: Minnesota Deal Revives Texas Attorney Fee Dispute Houston Chronicle
  • 05/08/98 TEXAS Tobacco Settlement Held Up Over Attorneys' Fees CNN

  • 05/09/98 EDITORIAL: Big Tobacco's Loss in Minnesota The New York Times
      Even so, a state-by-state effort to stop the industry's pernicious marketing activities would be costly and time-consuming. That is all the more reason to insist on tough national legislation that bans marketing to children nationwide, raises cigarette prices to curb youth smoking, and allows for stringent regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration.

  • 05/09/98 EDITORIAL: MINNESOTA: Major Victory For Public Health Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      After years of far outspending their challengers in advertising, lobbying, campaign gifts and litigation, the cigarette companies are finding that times have changed. Let them complain of witch hunts, political correctness and victimization by "tobacco law." From here, it looks like justice.

  • 05/10/98 New Tobacco Deal May Affect FLORIDA St. Petersburg Times
      State officials are hopeful Minnesota's recent settlement with the tobacco companies will lead to more money and more power to regulate the industry for Florida. But it's too soon to say just what effect, if any, the deal struck Friday will have on Florida's historic agreement, a state spokeswoman said Saturday.
  • 05/11/98 Minnesota Wins $6.6 Billion Settlement From Tobacco Firms for Health Costs The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
      Minnesota set a new high-water mark in antitobacco litigation, winning an outsized $6.6 billion settlement of its suit to recover health-care costs linked to smoking, along with a raft of landmark concessions that will limit how cigarettes can be marketed in the state.
  • 05/10/98 US Companies To Pay $6bn Settlement Financial Times
      The trial had not been going well for the industry, and the out-of-court settlement removes the threat that the jury could have awarded ruinous damages against cigarette makers. But the state also had an incentive to settle because of worries about the possibility of a damages award much smaller than $6bn, a hung jury, or a successful appeal by the tobacco industry.
  • 05/10/98 Juror: We'd Give Less ABC News
      Two of the five jurors in Minnesota's tobacco trial say they don't think the jury would have returned a verdict with a lot of punitive damages. Tobacco companies Friday agreed to pay $6.6-billion to settle the state's lawsuit to recover smoking related health costs. The jurors said they didn't believe the panel's award would have been that much.
  • 05/10/98 Grow: Lawyers Lose Shot At Knockout Blow Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      It was going to be a spellbinder of a summation. It was going to bring tears to jurors' eyes, put righteous indignation in their hearts. . . "It was going to be the best one of my life," said Ciresi, who looked more dazed than victorious after the tobacco settlement was announced Friday.
  • 05/10/98 PROFILE: CINDIE SMART: Youngblood: Tobacco Trial Almost Bogged Her Down Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      As proprietor of one of the region's better-known paralegal service companies, CINDIE SMART was the logical choice in November 1995 to organize and manage the mountain of documents that were being collected in the Minnesota lawsuit against the tobacco industry. "She's the best in the business without a doubt," said Harold Decker . . . The only trouble was, the high-visibility assignment to manage Minnesota's tobacco litigation document depository threatened to send Minneapolis-based SMART LEGAL ASSISTANCE INC. down the proverbial tubes
  • 05/10/98 Tobacco Trial's Final Week In Review Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Key quotes: "The Minnesota settlement, like those reached earlier in Mississippi, Florida and Texas, will help us combat tobacco industry marketing to kids. This action provides still further momentum to our effort to pass bipartisan, comprehensive tobacco legislation." --President Clinton, responding to Friday's announcement of a settlement.
  • 05/10/98 $6.6 Billion Or $7 Billion? It Depends St. Paul Pioneer Press
      At the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, journalists chose the $7 billion figure, a correct tally of the payments to the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Minneapolis law firm that pressed the case. But other news organizations, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, based their headlines on just the state and Blue Cross figures -- $6.6 billion. The additional payment to Minnesota attorneys was reported in their stories. . . The Internet edition of The New York Times used $6.5 billion in its headline, proving how easily a little downward rounding can make $100 million disappear. If this math seems puzzling, it gets worse when you look at the fine print of the deal.
  • 05/10/98 Tobacco Lawyers' Role Under Fire St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Legal ethics scholars are going to look at these documents and be appalled," Michael Ciresi, the state's lead trial lawyer, said in an interview Saturday. "You are going to see them used in law schools as examples of what lawyers should not do." . . . "It is important that people look at these documents and put together a complete story of what the lawyers did," said Walburn, of counsel to the firm Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi.

  • 05/10/98 Tobacco Deal Didn't Come Easily St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/10/98 Countdown To A $7 Billion 'Done Deal' In Tobacco Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Interviews with people familiar with the trial and negotiations throughout the past four months reveal a final two weeks of frenzied discussions, secret meeting places, hotel registration aliases, frayed nerves and sleep deprivation. By week's end it was Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III's masterpiece and trial attorney Michael Ciresi's victory without a verdict.

  • 05/10/98 Humphrey, Ciresi Defend $466 Million Legal Fee AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/10/98 Humphrey's Big Risk May Be Political Boost St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/10/98 Trial Over For Humphrey, But Race Has Only Begun St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/10/98 Freeman Leads Humphrey In 2 Congressional-district Polls Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wringing $7 billion out of tobacco companies makes Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III something of a hero to many Minnesotans. But it wasn't enough to prevent Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman from besting Humphrey once again in the DFL Party's last two straw polls on the governor's race at congressional district conventions Saturday.

  • 05/10/98 HUMOR: Jim Ragsdale, Licensed Journalist St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?" "We have, your honor." "And do you find the tobacco industry Incredibly Guilty, Extremely Guilty or simply Very Guilty?" "We find the defendants Incredibly Guilty on all counts."

  • 05/12/98 Tobacco Deal Shields Kids, Raises Question St. Paul Pioneer Press
      What legally constitutes act to `target children'? "This is a `know it when you see it' standard,'' said Thomas Pursell, senior counsel for the Minnesota attorney general and the lawyer in charge of tobacco and antitrust enforcement.

  • 05/12/98 Trial by Paper May 6, 1998 (Minneapolis/St. Paul) City Pages
      The air inside the tobacco trial document depository is dry. Stay for an hour and your throat becomes parched. Stay another and your eyes start to burn. The 26 million pieces of paper housed at the warehouse, a stack of which would dwarf the IDS tower, suck moisture from the air like a gigantic sponge.
  • 05/12/98 Tobacco Settlement Bans Cigarette Billboard Ads In State Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/11/98 Tobacco Settlement Leaves Spending To Lawmakers Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      About 3 percent has been set aside for smoking cessation and prevention programs. The rest is headed for the state' s general treasury, over 25 years, with no strings attached.
  • 05/11/98 Blue Cross Seeks to Reduce Smokers AP
      The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will use its share of a multi-billion settlement with the tobacco industry to try and reduce smoking among members by 30 percent, the company's chief executive said Monday. . . A 30 percent reduction in smoking among its members could save Blue Cross $350 million over the next 10 years, said Czajkowski
  • 05/11/98 A Frustrated Minn. Tobacco Jury Offers Glimpse Into Mindset Dow Jones (pay registration)
      All five said they weren't leaning toward a verdict for either side because they hadn't had a chance to deliberate and weigh the evidence.
  • 05/11/98 Minn. Tobacco Settlement Being Studied UPI
      Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey says the settlement of Minnesota's consumer fraud suit against the nation's tobacco companies could become a model for the nation. Humphrey says President Clinton is studying the deal, which could lead to a revision of settlements reached earlier in other states.

  • 05/12/98 OPINION: Kim Ode: Health Is Best Revenge Kim Ode, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Get the anti-smoking programs on track. Target young adults to keep them from ever lighting that first cigarette. Establish a trust fund to enable us to defray the expenses the state will continue to incur from those who have already ruined their health. But remember that word: health. That's what this case was about, after all: whether people were ruining their health with the full support of the tobacco industry. It stands to reason that a state, or a nation, of healthy people will be the best revenge.

  • 05/12/98 EDITORIAL: Tobacco Foes Chalk Up Important Victory Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
      While cheering the Minnesota settlement, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) vowed to continue to fight for federal anti-tobacco legislation. Smart move. Squeezing cigarette makers from both directions -- in state lawsuits and in Congress -- may help to finally ease tobacco's awful grip on the American public.

  • 05/12/98 LETTERS: Tuesday Letters From Readers 6 letters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 05/13/98 Tobacco Settlement Already Campaign Fodder St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/13/98 State's Tobacco Lawsuit will Affect Attorney General Race St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/13/98 Other Candidates Take Aim At Humphrey's Tobacco Settlement Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III has misled the public by using an inflated figure for how much the state will get in the historic settlement with tobacco companies, former state auditor Mark Dayton said Tuesday. . . . "Either he doesn't understand the facts or else he is twisting them intentionally," Dayton said. "Either way, he's wrong."
  • 05/13/98 Humphrey Campaign Rivals Criticize Tobacco Pact AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      DAYTON took issue with the amount of the settlement. Because the industry will pay the state over 25 years, the value in today' s dollars is closer to $3.6 billion, he said. . . GOP candidate QUIST, who also held a news conference, calculated the present value at $2.7 billion. Quist and Dayton consider the present value critical to measuring the attorney fees going to the Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi law firm.
  • 05/12/98 CONSENT JUDGEMENT from Judge Fitzpatrick
      After a four year legal battle with the tobacco industry, Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III and Andy Czajkowski, CEO of co-plaintiff Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, today announced a historic agreement that requires the industry to pay $6.1 billion to the State of Minnesota and imposes the strongest ban in the nation against marketing cigarettes to children. The landmark agreement requires disclosure of secret tobacco documents, unprecedented reform of the industry, closure of the tobacco research and propaganda arm, the Council for Tobacco Research, and first-in-the-nation bans on tobacco branded merchandise and secret payments for using cigarettes in movies.
  • 05/08/98 REALAUDIO: "They have surrendered and they have surrendered on our terms" WCCO-TV

  • 05/14/98 Tobacco Foes Endorse Plan On Spending Settlement St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The fight with Big Tobacco may be over, but the fight over Big Tobacco's money is just beginning. Minnesota's public health community fired an opening shot Wednesday across the bow of lawmakers who may want to use the state's $6.1 billion tobacco lawsuit settlement for causes other than reducing smoking.
  • 05/15/98 Minn. Blue Cross Members Seek Part Of $469M Tobacco Pact Dow Jones (pay registration) Here's the item at the Winston-Salem Journal
  • 05/14/98 Blue Cross Members Suing To Recover In Tobacco Deal St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 05/14/98 Blue Cross To Get Tobacco Money Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Wednesday the legal challenge began over what Blue Cross should do with it. Two class action lawsuits were filed, each demanding that Blue Cross' settlement money go to its policyholders. In an interview with the Star Tribune Friday, Blue Cross CEO Andy Czajkowski said that using the settlement money for smoking cessation efforts would be "a wiser use of the money as opposed to a rebate." The suits argue that Blue Cross has a duty to reimburse its subscribers.
  • 05/20/98 Republican Lawyer Says He'll Protest Tobacco Fees St. Paul Pioneer Press
      STEVE YOUNG, a former law school dean and a Republican Party activist, said Tuesday that he will ask the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board to examine hundreds of millions in legal fees to be paid to a private law firm for work on Minnesota's tobacco lawsuit. "Accepting a fee in this amount seriously undermines the legal profession," said Young, who said he will file a complaint with the board today.
  • 05/20/98 Former Law School Deal Questions Tobacco Trial Legal Fees AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The fees earned by the law firm that represented the state in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry are unethically high and should be scaled way back, a former law school dean said. STEPHEN YOUNG, a former dean of the Hamline University School of Law who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 1996, said he would file a complaint today with the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. It was the latest GOP salvo against Minnesota Attorney General HUBERT HUMPHREY III, a DFL candidate for governor.
  • 05/20/98 Judge Signs Tobacco Settlement, Officially Ending Suit Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The hard-fought settlement between the tobacco industry and the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota became official Tuesday through an order filed by Ramsey County District JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK. Fitzpatrick's action finalized terms of the May 8 settlement and dismissed the lawsuit through a consent judgment agreed to by the state, Blue Cross and the remaining defendants in the case except the Liggett Group. LIGGETT, whose status is uncertain, was a defendant only with Blue Cross.
  • 05/19/98 Frustrated Tobacco Trial Jurors Want To Finish The Job Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors who sat through the 3 1/2 months of Minnesota' s tobacco trial are still frustrated that they never got to deliver a verdict, so they plan to finish the job themselves. The case ended in a $6.6 billion settlement on May 8, just hours before the jury would have begun deliberations, leaving the panelists feeling that their sacrifices had been in vain. They plan to get together shortly to find out what their verdicts might have been if they had been allowed to discuss the evidence and decide the case, said juror Jill Burton, 37, a legal secretary from Mounds View.

  • 05/21/98 Jurors Receive Scant Help During Long Trials St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The county provided jurors with $30 a day during the trial and paid them seven times during the trial -- rather than all at once at the trial's end, as had been past practice. The county also provided child care costs as requested by two tobacco trial jurors.
  • 05/21/98 Blue Cross Defrayed Law Firm's Expenses For Years Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      As government filings revealed that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota quietly helped defray the expenses of the Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi law firm during the four years leading to the Minnesota tobacco trial, legal fees paid out in the case continued to stir political and legal debate Wednesday.
  • 05/24/98 HUMPHREY Has Yet To Cash In On $6 Billion Tobacco Deal Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Pete Padilla discloses upfront that he's a smoker, impervious so far to Nicoderm, hypnotism and his wife's insistence that he quit. But he simply doesn't think that Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III's victory over tobacco companies -- netting $6.1 billion for the state -- ought to count for much in assessing his candidacy for governor. "It means very little to me. Other issues are a lot higher priority," said Padilla, a Moorhead activist for Hispanic migrant workers.

  • 05/23/98 Tobacco Suit Lays Groundwork AP
      The lawyers who pursued Minnesota's case, eventually winning a $6.6 billion settlement, forced the industry to hand over enough internal documents to fill two warehouses. And the 15-week trial demonstrated to other states how the documents could be used, the industry's defense and the effectiveness of witnesses. Experts singled out Arizona, New York and Wisconsin as having strong pending lawsuits against tobacco.
  • 05/23/98 Lists of States Suing Tobacco AP
      States with trial dates for lawsuits against the tobacco industry:

  • 05/26/98 MINNESOTA: ALLINA Hospitals Try Out Smoking Cessation Programs Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Since the settlement in the tobacco trial May 8, smoking-cessation programs have been under much discussion. Part of the $6.6 billion that will be be paid by the tobacco companies to the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is expected to be used to help people quit tobacco and to educate young people about its dangers.
  • 05/27/98 Ex-smoker Helps Hospital Patients Face Cold Turkey Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      "I'm not here to talk you out of anything," Andy Peroutky soothingly tells his patients. "I sympathize. I've been where you are." Peroutky, a former smoker who calls himself a tobaccoholic, goes from bed to bed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, offering help to those smokers who would like to quit.

  • 05/27/98 Ex-law Dean's Complaint About Legal Fees Dismissed St. Paul Pioneer Press
      In a ruling issued Friday, EDWARD CLEARY, director of the lawyers' office, said [STEPHEN] YOUNG's complaint didn't establish that misconduct occurred. Cleary said the parties, which included the tobacco industry, agreed to the fee payments. He said some of Young's charges were "personal and political in nature."
  • 05/28/98 Campaign developments Wednesday: CORNY COMMENTS Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      State GOP Chairman BILL COOPER says Attorney General HUBERT HUMPHREY III is taking the " farmer" out of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Cooper commented on remarks a day earlier by Humphrey' s top aide ERIC JOHNSON, who grew up on a North Dakota farm. Johnson was attempting to discredit GOP gubernatorial candidate ALLEN QUIST, a St. Peter farmer, who criticized the state' s contract with tobacco trial lawyers. " This is what happens when you have a corn farmer looking at the statutes, " Johnson was quoted as saying. " And I can say that, because I' m a farm boy." Cooper said Humphrey' s office should apologize to farmers.
  • 05/27/98 QUIST Challenges Agreement With Lawyers In Tobacco Suit Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      But Humphrey's top aide, Eric Johnson, said Quist's research didn't go far enough. He said the contract was ruled legal by the courts. "Four years ago, the tobacco industry tried this attack in the courts and failed," he said. "This is what happens when you have a corn farmer looking at the statutes," Johnson said. "And I can say that, because I'm a farm boy."
  • 05/27/98 Humphrey Defends Robins Firm's Tobacco Case Fees Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III defended the attorneys' fees negotiated in the state's settlement with the tobacco industry, asserting Tuesday that the law firm of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi put its future on the line by accepting a contingency arrangement. A state agency that oversees lawyer conduct, meanwhile, declined to review the fee portion of the settlement, noting that the presiding judge in the case and the industry defendants had approved it.
  • 05/30/98 Judge Says How Tobacco Fines Should Be Allocated AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ramsey County District JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK, who had to borrow room in the federal courthouse in St. Paul to accommodate the massive tobacco trial, on Saturday took steps to prevent that happening again. The judge ordered that 91 percent of the $500, 000 in fines assessed against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. -- more than $455, 000 -- be used to establish the technology and facilities necessary to try complex civil litigation cases in the Ramsey County courthouse.
  • 05/30/98 Extensive Juror Questionnaire In Tobacco Case Released Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Jurors and potential jurors in the Minnesota tobacco lawsuit were thoroughly analyzed about smoking, health, big business, corporate ethics and personal responsibility even before jury selection began last January. . . Only the questionnaire was released Friday, not the responses.
  • 05/29/98 Briefs: Judge Orders Minnesota Tobacco Jury Questionnaires Destroyed Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick said prospective jurors were told their answers would be confidential when they filled out the questionnaires in January. The documents will be kept until May 8, 1999, and then destroyed.

  • 06/02/98 Robins' Tobacco Fees Outlined St. Paul Pioneer Press
      In less than a year, the Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi law firm in Minneapolis stands to collect 70 percent of its $565.9 million in legal fees and costs from Big Tobacco, according to terms disclosed Monday.

  • 06/01/98 BLUE CROSS Dropped Last Tobacco Suit Channel 4000
      The LIGGETT GROUP and BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD have tied up one of the few remaining loose ends from Minnesota's tobacco trial. Blue Cross today agreed to drop its claims against Liggett, and each party agreed to pay for its own costs and attorneys' fees. Ramsey County Judge KENNETH FITZPATRICK quickly accepted the agreement and dismissed the suit.
  • 06/01/98 Judge: Cough Up Last Cig Documents; Remaining Papers From Minnesota Trial Are To Be Made Public WCCO/Ch. 4000
  • 06/01/98 More Tobacco Papers to Be Released AP
      The final batch of documents that the tobacco industry fought to keep secret in its lawsuit with Minnesota will be made public along with indexes making it easier to study them, the judge in the case has ruled.

  • 06/04/98 Poll: Spend Tobacco Money St. Paul Pioneer Press
      The statewide poll of voters found that 70 percent prefer to spend the money on public health programs related to smoking or on general state expenses such as education or law enforcement. Twenty-five percent said the first priority should be a tax cut. The poll also found that more Minnesotans believe the state was right to sue cigarette makers over the health effects of smoking. . . But the poll by the Pioneer Press, KARE-TV and Minnesota Public Radio found little support for the $566 million paid to a Minneapolis law firm that represented the state and a private insurer. Eighty percent said the legal fees were too much. On another smoking issue, the poll showed that many Minnesotans, and especially smokers, are unwilling to ban smoking in bars. The poll found 47 percent opposed a California-style ban, while 43 percent supported it.
  • 06/03/98 Tobacco Trial's Judge Fitzpatrick Said To Be Retiring Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Judge KENNETH FITZPATRICK . . has decided to retire from the Ramsey County District Court bench, state sources said Tuesday. . . That Fitzpatrick, 62, would seek early retirement had been whispered in St. Paul legal circles throughout most of the marathon four-month trial.
  • 06/04/98 Tobacco Cos. Claim Conspiracy UPI
      Attorneys for the tobacco industry are accusing the plaintiffs in Minnesota's suit against cigarette makers of conspiracy and the judge of inappropriate behavior.
  • 06/04/98 Tobacco Lawyers Object After Jury Finally Hears Final Arguments Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Fitzpatrick denied the motion Wednesday afternoon, saying his work on the tobacco case was completed by Monday. "It is and has been the Honorable Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick's intention to no longer participate in this litigation from the time of hearing the Plaintiff's final summation onward," the judge said in an order.
  • 06/04/98 Tobacco Firms, Judge Skirmish In Post-trial Tiff St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Meanwhile, a St. Paul attorney who served as special master in the tobacco case appeared Tuesday at the Washington County Board representing a company that operates cigarette vending machines. . . But [MARK] GEHAN said his work as judicial officer ended with the May 8 settlement. He said he was retained by the vending company on Friday. "The tobacco case was over," Gehan said. "I'm a lawyer and I go out and represent clients."
  • 06/04/98 Minn. Jurors Hear Tobacco Argument AP
      the jurors asked whether they could hear the state's closing arguments anyway. They got their chance Monday -- with the judge, in private and nearly a month after the settlement. That has tobacco lawyers fuming. The attorneys called the meeting improper, and on Wednesday asked the judge to recuse himself. The judge refused, instead chastising the attorneys for once offering jurors $100 an hour for post-trial interviews.

  • 06/05/98 Foes Of Tobacco Attorney Fees Plan To Take Case To Court AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      " Our purpose is to recover half a billion dollars that we believe is properly the property of the citizens, " said former state Rep. ALLEN QUIST of St. Peter on Thursday.
  • 06/05/98 Republican Leaders Plan Suit Over Tobacco Settlement Fees Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Republican candidate ALLEN QUIST said a 1905 Minnesota law invalidates the fees to be paid to the Minneapolis firm of ROBINS KAPLAN MILLER & CIRESI. The money "is rightly the property of the citizens," he said. It amounts to more than $2 million for every member of the law firm, or about $100 for every citizen of the state.

  • 06/06/98 Faith & Values Calendar For June 6, 1998 Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Presentation and discussion on the tobacco trial and settlement with LUANNE NYBERG, senior public health advisor on federal and state tobacco issues, noon Wednesday in the Skyway Connection, 224 Hilton Towers, Minneapolis.

  • 06/08/98 Stephens: Modern Pirates May Make Their Fortunes With A Pack Of Smokes Columbus (OH) Dispatch
      Cigarette smugglers already are thriving. Wholesaler Dave Tritsch, owner of Columbus Candy and Tobacco (just the name of his company soon could get him declared a war criminal), said he's already fighting a large cigarette black market due to state taxes. . . Gus Flichia of Flichia Wholesale Distributing, said the McCain bill in the U.S. Senate, which would raise taxes about $1.50 a pack, would put many small wholesalers out of business and their employees on the street.

  • 06/07/98 OPINION: MITCH MCCONNELL: We Don't Have 25 Years for Leaf Act Lexington (KY) Herald Leader
      After extensive consideration and consultation with Kentucky growers, I firmly believe that the Lugar plan is the wiser course because the LEAF Act is ultimately unsustainable . . . The combined forces of Clinton, Gore, opportunistic Democrats in Congress and the nations' liberal media, have made tobacco public enemy No 1. In sum, I simply refuse to sell farmers on the dreamy illusion of a new 25-year tobacco program. . . We should allow our farmers and communities to take the cash in hand and not force them into a high-stakes crapshoot.

  • 06/07/98 OPINION: Cast your lot with Trent (Pay before pumping) David Nyhan, Boston Globe
      No better example exists of the perfidy of campaign contributions' influence on the political process than the rescue effort captained by Lott in the face of reform as championed by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. . . Follow the money from the tobacco lobby, and you see that the lion's share ends up in Trent's greasy mitts, his and his fellow bag-jobbers. . . we're happy to follow a Sun Belt conservative named McCain, who has the public interest at heart.

  • 06/10/98 Campaign Ad Watch: "Trial Lawyers Giveaways"
      Sponsor: Republican Party of Minnesota . . . This 60-second radio ad, scheduled for extensive air time, is an attack by the Republican Party on Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III's recent tobacco settlement, which netted $6.1 billion for the state over 25 years. . . Analysis: The charge that Humphrey steered a half-billion dollars to the law firm of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi in return for about $6,000 in campaign contributions (the amount documented by Republicans) is serious but unprovable, and it strains credulity.

  • 06/10/98 Judge Removed From Tobacco Trial Reuters
      The judge who presided over Minnesota's tobacco trial is off the case, much to the relief of lawyers for the cigarette makers. Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick was removed Tuesday from all further proceedings. It was at his own request, but not without a parting shot from his superior.
  • 06/10/98 Fitzpatrick Removed From Tobacco Case; Chief Judge Cites Retirement, Request For Removal And Dispute Over Meeting St. Paul Pioneer Press
      "Judge Fitzpatrick has informed this Court by way of his Order filed June 3, 1998, and his letter to the Chief Judge dated June 9, 1998, that he wishes to no longer participate in the litigation and requests to have the case assigned to another Judge. "Further, Judge Fitzpatrick's neutrality might now be called into question if he continued to preside over the case due to his participation in an ex parte meeting held in the offices of plaintiffs's counsel on June 1, 1998," Cohen continued. "Based upon the foregoing . . . Judge Fitzpatrick is removed from all further proceedings in this case."
  • 06/09/98 Judge Removed From Tobacco Trial
      The retiring judge who presided over Minnesota's tobacco trial was removed Tuesday from all further proceedings in the case, at his own request. However his superior said JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK's neutrality is now in question because he allowed jurors to hear closing statements in the case after a $6.6 billion settlement had been reached. Some jurors said they wanted closure in the case they had heard for months. LAWRENCE COHEN, the chief judge of Ramsey County District Court, said Fitzpatrick informed him in writing Tuesday that he no longer wished to participate in further proceedings in the case. Cohen said Fitzpatrick also notified him that he was retiring due to medical disability effective July 31.
  • 06/12/98 Tobacco Firms: Judge Secretly Taped Trial's End St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Peter Sipkins, an attorney for leading cigarette maker Philip Morris, said industry lawyers are puzzled by the clandestine recording, which they discovered after it happened. Industry lawyers now want a copy of the tape, Sipkins said. . . In the motion, Sipkins asked the chief judge to halt the release of documents under a May 31 Fitzpatrick ruling and to order the disclosure of any other contacts the judge may have had
  • 06/12/98 Defense Alleges Tobacco Trial Judge Made Secret Videotape AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The judge who presided over Minnesota' s tobacco trial secretly had closing arguments by defense attorneys videotaped against their wishes, the defendants alleged Thursday. In addition, Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, who was removed from the case two days earlier, released to the public 60 documents that had been sealed as the case proceeded. " I' m not sure that I' ve ever heard of another case where a judge has been taken off of a case, that he' s then issued orders, " said defense attorney Peter Sipkins.
  • 06/12/98 Tobacco Attorneys Again Accuse Fitzpatrick Of Impartiality Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Tobacco industry attorneys on Thursday once again questioned the impartiality of JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK, accusing the retiring jurist of secretly videotaping their closing arguments in the Minnesota smoking -and-health trial. As tobacco attorneys continue to scrutinize Fitzpatrick's post-trial activities, they have asked Ramsey County District Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen to stay and overturn a Fitzpatrick order that would force the industry to release to the public thousands of documents and indicies they claim are privileged.

  • 06/13/98 Chief Judge Confirms Tapes Made At Tobacco Trial St. Paul Pioneer Press
      Lawrence Cohen, chief judge of Ramsey County District Court, confirmed Friday that he has learned videotapes were made of the tobacco industry's closing arguments and of Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick's instructions to the jury at the trial of the state's lawsuit against the industry in May. Cohen said Fitzpatrick ordered the confidential taping for historical and educational purposes. Cohen also confirmed that a videotape was made of the closing argument of lead plaintiffs' attorney Michael Ciresi at a private, post-trial gathering
  • 06/13/98 Boss Of Tobacco-case Judge Steps Into Case; Hearing Set Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Lawrence Cohen, chief judge of Ramsey County District Court, confirmed that Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick ordered videotapes made of the closing arguments and that a recorder was hooked to the live video feed that was being transmitted into the press room several floors below the courtroom. Fitzpatrick had asked both sides for permission to do the taping, but both sides declined to grant it, according to Peter Sipkins, lead local attorney for the tobacco industry.

  • 06/14/98 If You Ran The Newspaper Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The Star Tribune's coverage of two high-exposure stories -- the fees paid to the state's outside attorneys in the tobacco law suit and the school's eighth-grade basic-skills test results -- "were glaring departures from what we know to be good journalism," says Val Gunderson, deputy press secretary to Gov. Arne Carlson.
  • 06/18/98 Tobacco Trial Took Toll On FITZPATRICK St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • 06/18/98 Judge's Health Hurt By Tobacco Trial AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The problems " were exacerbated by the stresses of this prolonged, acrimonious and complex litigation, " said a written statement by his lawyer R. Scott Davies. " The normal stress of lengthy litigation was significantly increased by personal attacks on the court, including motions for recusal filed midway through the trial."
  • 06/18/98 Stress Of Tobacco Trial Plagued Judge Fitzpatrick Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      Acrimonious court exchanges between Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick and tobacco industry defense attorneys caused the judge to experience an irregular heartbeat and anxiety, said a document released Wednesday to support his petition for early retirement.

  • 06/22/98 In St. Paul, Everybody Won But The Jurors; They Got $30 A Day And No Chance To Reach A Verdict National Law Jounal
      Even the blow defense lawyers must feel should be softened by fees reported to be as much as $500 an hour. Mr. Olson, on the other hand, is back at work, putting in overtime to catch up on past-due bills.

  • 06/16/98 MINNESOTA: EDITORIAL: The First Ad Shouldn't Be The 1998 Standard Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      The ad that's airing on radio stations in five cities makes several highly dubious claims and implications. It wants Minnesotans to think that Humphrey was irresponsible in seeking outside legal counsel to pursue the state's lawsuit against the nation's tobacco companies . . . If an environment conducive to good electoral decisionmaking is to be created in Minnesota this year, the Republican attack on Skip Humphrey should not be typical of what's to come.

  • 06/18/98 MINNESOTA: OPINION: Law Firm's Megafee Might Be Illegal Bill Cooper, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
      This $550 million payment to trial lawyers is truly outrageous. This contract between the attorney general's office and trial lawyers represents the ultimate partnership between big government and trial lawyers. Where will it end?

  • 06/18/98 OPINION: Hey Kids, Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Sandy Grady, Philadelphia Daily News
      The tobacco companies counted on (in a Mark Twain paraphrase) the best senators money can buy. . . Never discount tobacco companies' wealth, advertising savvy and practice of the Joseph Goebbels Big Fib Theory: Tell a whopper often enough, people will believe. . . Democrats shared blame. They were mired in squabbles about how to spend the windfall. . . McCain came up $40 million short. But he left the smoke-filled snakepit with honor.

  • 06/18/98 OPINION: Some Musings On Tobacco, Ink And Homeless Shelters Russell G. Byers, Philadelphia Daily News
      The Tobacco Bill: Do any of the liberals pushing that $516 billion tax increase realize the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 77 percent of all tobacco sales are to families with incomes under $50,000? . . . Do liberals pushing this package really think people who are dumb enough to smoke are too dumb to vote?

  • 06/18/98 EDITORIAL: The Senate's Tobacco Madness Deseret News
      Rather than fall all over each other in a race to see who could be toughest on an evil industry, then ending up with nothing, senators instead ought to have reverted to the settlement terms the states negotiated with cigarette companies in the first place. . . Not surprisingly, the tobacco industry has backed out of the settlement agreement and has launched a nationwide campaign of misleading and insulting commercials, further confusing the issue. This didn't have to be get complicated. Forty states, including Utah, . . . were the first to scare tobacco sufficiently that it agreed to harsh terms. All Congress had to do was give its stamp of approval on what was a heroic accomplishment.

  • 06/18/98 EDITORIAL: Death of the Tobacco Bill The New York Times
      By killing tobacco control legislation that would have helped curb teen-age smoking, the Republicans in the Senate have shown that they simply cannot wean themselves from

  • 06/19/98 Complaint on Judge Fitzpatrick filed with judicial board Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
  • 06/18/98 Minn. Investigates Complaint Against Tobacco Trial Judge Dow Jones (pay registration)
      The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards is investigating the conduct of Ramsey County District Court Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, who presided over the Minnesota tobacco trial. DePaul Willette, the executive secretary for the board, said the agency has received a complaint against Fitzpatrick and that the matter is under investigation. Willette declined to say who filed the complaint or when it was filed, and declined to provide details of the investigation.
  • 06/18/98 Possible Misconduct In Tobacco Trial WCCO-TV
      the state board of judicial standards has started an investigation into possible misconduct by the judge in Minnesota's historic tobacco trial. The judicial board will look into whether Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick videotaped the defense's closing arguments in court without its permission

    MINNESOTA Case News
    • Minnesota Resources/News Archive Tobacco BBS
    • 06/04/98 Judge's Orders (None since 5/4/98 are listed)

    • 06/20/98 Legislative Auditor Declines To Review Tobacco Fees Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        There is no basis for a special review of legal expenses relating to the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, says Legislative Auditor James Nobles. "We have confirmed that the state has not paid, and will not pay, any money to the Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi firm related to the tobacco case," Nobles said in a letter sent Monday to state Sen. Gary Laidig, R-Stillwater.

    • 06/26/98 MINNESOTA, CONNOR: GALLUP Accuses Big Tobacco Of Misusing Its Poll in Court The Wall Street Journal (pay registration)
        "Have you heard or read anything recently that cigarette smoking may be a cause of cancer of the lung?" . . The Lincoln, Neb., polling group has put tobacco-industry lawyers on notice that using the 90% figure as evidence in several recent tobacco trials was misleading. Gallup maintains that far from proving that the link between smoking and lung cancer was commonly known, its 1954 poll actually showed a high degree of doubt and confusion about the dangers of smoking. The 90% figure, Gallup contends, reflected knowledge of the controversy, not a widely held belief that smoking causes lung cancer. Meanwhile, it says, responding to another question in the poll, only 5% said they thought smoking causes cancer.
      Here's the item at the 06/30/98 Winston-Salem Journal
    • 06/26/98 MINNESOTA: AD WATCH: "Trial Lawyer Giveaway" St. Paul Pioneer Press
        Analysis: It's tough to gripe about a $6.1 billion settlement for the state, the nation's biggest settlement so far. So what do you do if you want to put a dent in Humphrey's gubernatorial campaign? You go after the trial lawyers, who have never been popular with the voters. Here, however, the GOP has stretched some facts and committed a non sequitur or two.

    • 06/28/98 EDITORIAL: MINNESOTA: Tobacco Lobbying -- Probe The Extent Of Sneaky Ways Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Minnesotans now know that tobacco companies mounted a much larger lobbying effort than previously exposed to fight bills that restricted access to their products. . . Big Tobacco has been a sneaky operatorDFL Sen. John Marty, a candidate for governor this year, said his Senate Elections Committee would examine tobacco's less-than-above-board lobbying tactics at hearings later this summer. . . If a little bit of disclosure about the lobbying practices of one industry has shown so much and stung so many, what else could be cleaned up if Minnesotans knew more? Through Marty's committee, perhaps Minnesotans can find out.

    • 06/30/98 MINNESOTA, CONNOR: GALLUP Says Big Tobacco Is Misusing Poll The 06/26/98 Wall St. Journal item, at Winston-Salem Journal

    • 06/29/98 MINNESOTA: Tobacco Trial: A Legal Legacy Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        It had national, even global implications. From Day One of jury selection on Jan. 20 to the May 8 announcement that the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had agreed to settle the case, observers knew they were watching something memorable.

    • 06/29/98 OPINION: Commentary: Big Tobacco Fees Reflect Risk And Reward John Sherman, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Almost as surprising as the noise about Robins Kaplan is the Republican silence about the tobacco lawyers. If overpaid lawyers offend Bill Cooper's conscience, he should know that what Robins Kaplan is getting is pocket change compared to the fees of the tobacco lawyers over the years. And, if I understand various judicial decisions correctly, the tobacco lawyers conspired with Big Tobacco to cloak damaging evidence with attorney-client privilege. It appears Republicans don't mind lawyers as long as they represent, however unethically, big powerful corporations, however unscrupulous. To them the bad guys are the lawyers who help the state get some reparation for the damage the corporations have done the citizens of Minnesota.

    • 06/28/98 OPINION: MINNESOTA: Is It Possible To Expect Less Of Politicians? Doug Grow, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Understand, our heroes were not coy. They were out there soliciting. According to R.J. Reynolds, it didn't have to chase our fine legislators through the halls saying, "Oh, please, take money." In about 90 percent of the cases, Reynolds said, it was the pols who sought the handout. If possible, lower the expectations again.

    • 07/08/98 MINNESOTA: Board Would Oversee Settlement St. Paul Pioneer Press
        The plan . . . first must be approved by Ramsey District Court Judge Lawrence Cohen . . . Under terms of the settlement, the judge can modify the plan. Cohen said he has to review the document and solicit comments before he can take any action. He said he has no set timetable for completing action. "It's thick and big, and I've got to look at it," Cohen said of the document. "I will make my decision as soon as I can."
    • 07/08/98 Non-profit Group To Direct $202 Million Of Tobacco Settlement Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Minnesota will set up a nonprofit group this fall to administer $202 million of the state's tobacco settlement money dedicated to anti- smoking efforts and research into smoking and public health. The group, to be called Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, will have a 19-member board of directors drawn from the public health community and government appointees. It will report to the Legislature every two years for the next 25 years. A pair of national anti-tobacco advocates -- former Surgeon General C. EVERETT KOOP and former Food and Drug Administration director DAVID KESSLER -- will be honorary co-chairmen.
    • 07/07/98 Humphrey Submits Plan To Reduce Smoking AP/Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Minnesota' s tobacco settlement proceeds could create " the most comprehensive anti-smoking program the world has ever seen, " in the words of Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III. On Tuesday, Humphrey released plans he has submitted with Ramsey County District Court to turn over $202 million of Minnesota' s $6.1 billion tobacco settlement to a new non-profit organization -- the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco.
    • 07/07/98 MINNESOTA: Minn. Files Tobacco Settlement Plan AP
        The state has submitted a plan to put $202 million of the $6.1 billion Minnesota won in a tobacco settlement aside for stop-smoking programs and research into tobacco.
    • 07/07/98 State Files Plans For Anti-smoking Foundations St. Paul Pioneer Press
        It went down to the wire, but lawyers for the Minnesota attorney general's office met Monday's deadline to file a plan that outlines the creation of two anti-smoking foundations bankrolled by about $200 million from the state's $6.6 billion tobacco settlement.

    • 07/07/98 MINNESOTA: Commerce Commissioner: Move Tobacco Settlement Dispute From Courts Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        State insurance regulators, not the courts, should decide how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota spends its $469 million tobacco settlement, Commerce Commissioner Dave Gruenes said Monday. Gruenes asked Dakota County District Court to give his department jurisdiction over lawsuits brought by Blue Cross policyholders. " There is an administrative process available under current state law to appropriately address this situation, " he said in a statement.

    • 07/21/98 MINNESOTA: Smokers Seeking Share Of Tobacco Settlement St. Paul Pioneer Press
        This new lawsuit requests the court to determine the rights of an estimated 70,000 smokers to participate in the tobacco settlement. Specifically, those the lawsuit seeks to represent were on medical or general assistance from 1978 through 1996. . . Humphrey's office doesn't buy into the legal arguments by the smokers: "These people may well be entitled to some damages, but they've got the wrong defendant," said Thomas Pursell, senior counsel for the attorney general's office. "They ought to be suing the tobacco companies for their pain and suffering, not trying to take the money that belongs to the taxpayers of the state of Minnesota."
    • 07/21/98 Lawsuit Seeks At Least $2 Billion For Injured Smokers AP
        Minnesota could lose at least a third of the $6.1 billion tobacco settlement if injured smokers win a class-action lawsuit against the state. " We don' t start a lawsuit unless we think the chances are good, " RON MESHBESHER, one of the lawyers, said Monday. Of the lawsuit, Attorney General HUBERT HUMPHREY III said, "You see roadkill on the road and all the sudden the vultures are around."
    • 07/21/98 Suit Seeks $2 Billion for Smokers AP
        Smokers should receive at least a third of the state's $6.1 billion tobacco settlement, said attorneys who filed a lawsuit on behalf of 70,000 smokers. Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III, who settled the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, expected the new suit to be dismissed quickly. "I don't think there's any foundation," he said.

    • 08/18/98 Tobacco Cos. Seek Judge's Records AP
        In District Court papers filed Monday, all of the companies except Liggett Group Inc. asked that Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick give them access to his medical records. They also asked that the records be reviewed in private by Chief Judge Lawrence Cohen.
    • 08/18/98 MINNESOTA: Public Safety: Tobacco Companies Ask For Judge's Medical Records Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        In papers filed late Monday afternoon in Ramsey County District Court, tobacco company attorney PETER SIPKINS said the disclosures are needed to determine whether District Judge KENNETH FITZPATRICK's health problems affected the tobacco companies' ability to receive a fair trial.

    • 08/20/98 EDITORIAL: MINNESOTA: Tobacco Fees: Lawsuit Miscasts A Good Deal As Bad Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Like other Republicans who have been searching for a political handhold on the tobacco case since last fall, he focuses instead on a side issue. First it was whether the suit should be dropped in favor of a national settlement. Then it was how the winnings should be spent, and who should divvy them up. Now it's whether some lawyers are getting too rich at taxpayer expense. Except that's not what happened. Ciresi and his team won a big one for their clients, and got the losing side to pay the bill. If $440 million is too much, that's a problem for the tobacco companies and their shareholders. The taxpayers aren't out a dime. In most quarters, you'd think, that would look like a good deal for the state. But in some Republican circles, it appears to be good politics to make it look otherwise.

    • 08/21/98 MINNESOTA: Counties Join Class Action Suit; Nw Minnesota Counties Express Interest In Tobacco Settlement Grand Forks (MN) Herald
        CLAY, KITTSON, LAKE OF THE WOODS and MARSHALL counties are among about 10 Minnesota counties that already have responded to an inquiry from the LOMMEN NELSON law firm of Minneapolis. Roseau County commissioners voted Wednesday to add their county to the list. Lommen Nelson is one of three firms suing BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD to force the insurer to distribute $469 million it received from the recent tobacco settlement it won along with the state of Minnesota.

    • 08/21/98 MINNESOTA: GOP says lawyers' share in tobacco case dwarfs straight fees Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        State Republican Party Chairman Bill Cooper resumed his attack on tobacco-suit legal fees Thursday, arguing that the law firm that helped the state settle the case stands to reap as much as 20 times more in contingency fees than it would have received in a straight fee-for-legal-services deal. Cooper drew attention to recently released documents that show the estimated total of hourly fees logged on the case by Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi amounted to $27.5 million.

    • 08/26/98 BLUE CROSS to oppose BAT merger The Independent
        US healthcare insurance group Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the groups fighting through the courts for compensation for smokers, has written to BAT Industries warning that it will oppose the £35bn merger of the group's financial services operations with Zurich Insurance of Switzerland. Blue Cross, which is pursuing BAT Industries' US cigarette producer, Brown & Williamson, for damages, told BAT's solicitors Herbert Smith it is sending representatives to oppose the deal when it comes up for approval in the High Court next Wednesday. . . Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the leading US healthcare groups, fears the deal will complicate its attempts to secure compensation for policyholders suffering from smoking-related diseases.
    • 08/25/98 ZURICH GROUP To Complete BAT Merger By Sept 7 Dow Jones (pay registration)

    • 08/28/98 MINNESOTA: Tobacco Firms Accused Of Trying To Undermine Judge's Rulings Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Chief District Judge LAWRENCE COHEN said the medical records were irrelevant. But he did say he will consider keeping some documents FITZPATRICK ordered released under seal, saying a communication the judge had with state attorneys may have been improper.
    • 08/28/98 Judge To Review Mock Closing In Tobacco Trial AP
        Ramsey County Chief District Judge LAWRENCE COHEN indicated from the bench Thursday that Judge KENNETH FITZPATRICK's participation may constitute an " impropriety" and provide reason for blocking release of some tobacco industry documents.
    • 08/28/98 Tobacco Lawyers' Queries Restricted Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        A Ramsey County judge on Thursday sharply curtailed challenges by tobacco companies to the judge who presided over the Minnesota tobacco case and to his release of 39,000 industry documents. Attorneys for tobacco companies can challenge JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK's decision to unseal about 5,000 documents in the case, but they can't use material from the judge's medical records to challenge his competence, Ramsey County Chief Judge LAWRENCE COHEN said Thursday. He also said the tobacco companies cannot challenge Fitzpatrick on his decision May 31 to unseal about 34,000 documents.
    • 08/28/98 Judge Says Tobacco Can't Challenge Fitzpatrick's Health AP
        Chief District Judge Lawrence Cohen, however, said he would review Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick' s role in an unusual private mock closing argument that the state' s lead lawyer gave to jurors after the settlement.
    • 08/27/98 MINNESOTA: Tobacco Judge Still Focus Of Legal Tussle St. Paul Pioneer Press
        Some attorneys, including those representing the state of Minnesota, say the industry is trying to use the retired Ramsey County district judge's medical condition to discredit his rulings. FITZPATRICK's rulings have been mentioned in other states' tobacco litigation even though the Minnesota judge's findings are not binding on other jurists.

    • 08/29/98 OPINION: MINNESOTA: Counterpoint: Which Rules, Tobacco-fee Deal Or Constitution? Roger Conant, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        You cite Sen. Tom Neuville, R-Northfield, and me as maintaining that "the attorney general exceeded his authority in hiring Mike Ciresi and colleagues to litigate the case." Your statement is incorrect. We agree that Hubert Humphrey III was within his rights to hire Ciresi and company. In our lawsuit challenging the contingency-fee agreement, we contend that he did not have the necessary authority to compensate the attorneys. For those who believe in our Constitution, this is incredibly important.

    • 09/01/98 MINNESOTA: Briefs: Antismoking Group To Get Much Of Settlement Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        A new foundation for smoking cessation programs and tobacco control research will get $202 million of Minnesota's $6.1 billion tobacco settlement, a Ramsey County district judge ordered Monday. . . The foundation, the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, fulfills a provision in the May settlement. The group would be led initially by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Dr. David Kessler, former director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
    • 08/31/98 Business calendar For week of Sept. 1-Sept. 7 Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Minnesota law & technology show '98. Tuesday-Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center . . MICHAEL CIRESI, of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, the state's lead attorney in the Minnesota tobacco case, will discuss: "Tobacco Trial: View from the plaintiff's chair."

    • 08/98 PEOPLE: ROBERTA WALBRUN: The Document Queen August, 1998 Minnesota Law and Politics. Cute Cover
        Roberta Walburn not only helped win the tobacco trial, her unrelenting search for documents has damaged big tobacco forever

    • 09/09/98 MINNESOTA: HUMPHREY Highlights Tobacco Payment To State Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
    • 09/09/98 MINNESOTA gets first payment in tobacco case Reuters
        The state of Minnesota received its first payment from tobacco companies totaling $240 million on Tuesday as part of a record $6.17 billion settlement reached earlier this year, Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III said at a news conference here.
        Here is a list of events in Minnesota for Tuesday, Sept. 8 for your planning purposes. . . . ST. PAUL - 1:30 p.m. - Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III will have a news conference to make a " major announcement" relating to Minnesota' s settlement with the tobacco industry. Front lawn of the state capitol or in case of rain, State Capitol Building, Room 15. Details: Leslie Sandburg 651/296-2069, pager 651/538-3707.

    • 09/09/98 OPINION: Why Can't Humphrey Just Call It What It Is? Doug Grow, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Wouldn't it have been stunningly honest politics if he'd gone to the microphones and said: We got $240 million here and I did that. . . But no. We got the old pol shuffle. Humphrey did all sorts of nifty zigs and zags to make Tuesday's event seem like it was official state business, not a political performance. . . So here Humphrey was, the day after Labor Day and a week before the primary, talking about tobacco putting $240 million in Minnesota's hands. It would have been refreshingly honest if for one day he'd have stuffed the talk about kids.

    • 09/09/98 MINNESOTA: 'Hocus-Pocus' National Law Journal (Subscription only)
        Experts say they're baffled by terms in Robins Kaplan's tobacco litigation fee agreements, even though they concede that $569 million seems reasonable when compared with other cases

    • 09/18/98 MINNESOTA Tobacco Deal Model For FLORIDA Revision St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press
        Showing the rippling effects of Minnesota's tobacco settlement across the nation, cigarette makers announced an agreement Thursday with the state of Florida to amend that state's tobacco settlement. Florida joins Mississippi and Texas in revising settlements based on the results of Minnesota's $6.1 billion settlement in its smoking-and-health litigation.

    • 09/19/98 MINNESOTA: NOT FOR BROADCAST OR PUBLICATION Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Friday, Sept. 25 MINNEAPOLIS - 7:30 a.m. - A conference on the implications of tobacco regulation on laws, medicine and public health is held at the Minneapolis Regal Hotel, 1313 Nicollet Mall. Presenters include attorney general HUBERT HUMPHREY III, former Sen. DAVID DURENBERGER, attorney MICHAEL CIRESI, former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice A.M. " SANDY" KEITH, and national experts. Detail: 290-6434.

    • 10/03/98 MINNESOTA: Judge: No Impropriety In Tobacco Case Meeting Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        Ramsey District Court Chief Judge LAWRENCE COHEN concluded Friday that there were no improprieties in June when JUDGE KENNETH FITZPATRICK gathered members of the jury hearing the state's suit against the tobacco industry and met with them to hear an informal version of the closing remarks of plaintiffs' attorney MICHAEL CIRESI.

    • 10/07/98 MINNESOTA: Judicial Board Drops Tobacco Trial Inquiry St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press
        The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards has suspended its investigation of former Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick, who presided over Minnesota's tobacco trial.

    • 10/09/98 MINNESOTA: Book About Tobacco Trial Raises Doubts About Judge St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press
        In the book, one juror, Dorothy Hallen, recalled how, at one courtroom break, the jurors "discussed the discrepancy in the judge's attitude between witnesses favorable to the defense and those favorable to the plaintiffs. . . ."Someone asked, `Why does the judge make the defense's witnesses stop talking, but not her (a plaintiff witness)?' We all noticed that," Hallen told the authors.
    • 10/09/98 Jurors Felt Like They Were On Trial Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
        David Olson says his reward for serving four-plus months as a juror in the case was a combined $25,000 in missed wages and accrued debt. "My credit's shot, my phone's been cut off for a month, I have to sell my house, I'm constantly telling my daughters they can't have what they were used to having . . . And for what?" Olson asked this week. "This is justice?"
    • 10/09/98 Book Reveals Juror Forced Into Bankruptcy By Tobacco Trial AP
        The trial ended with a $6.6 billion settlement on May 8, five weeks after James Livingston and his wife signed the bankruptcy form. The plight of Livingston and two other jurors who experienced severe financial difficulty during the trial is recounted in the book " Smoked: The Inside Story of the Minnesota Tobacco Trial."
      You can order Smoked: The Inside Story of the Minnesota Tobacco Trial By Deborah Caulfield Rybak of Minnesota Law & Politics and David Phelps of the Star Tribune.

    • 10/11/98 MINNESOTA: Lawyers: Potential Fees Need To Be Examined In Context AP
        " Sitting here today, it' s hard to look back to 2 1/2 years ago when we were getting into this case, " said JOHN HOUGH, the senior assistant state attorney general overseeing Washington state' s case. . . "Yes, it' s a lot of money, " he said. " But we were asking these firms to take on a fairly substantial business risk. You have to remember, back in 1996 when we got into this, private litigants had not received a nickel from these guys (the tobacco industry)."

    • 12/30/98 MN: Antismoking forces advertise for $655M prevention plan Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Antismoking activists launched a $30,000 advertising campaign Tuesday designed to mobilize public support for using $655 million of Minnesota's tobacco settlement to prevent people from starting to smoke. The Minnesota Smoke-Free 2000 Coalition began a statewide campaign that urges, in the words of a 60-second radio ad, "aggressive education programs to counter Big Tobacco's ongoing campaign to sell addiction."

    • 01/01/99 MN: Former state health official tapped to lead anti-tobacco foundation Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Kathy C. HARTY, former head of the department' s section for nonsmoking and health, said Thursday that she has been offered the job as executive director of the MINNESOTA PARTNERSHIP FOR ACTION AGAINST TOBACCO. "I've conditionally said yes," Harty said

    • 01/01/99 MN: Millions of dollars from tobacco settlement due in HUMPHREY's last days Minneapolis Star Tribune
        The Hubert Humphrey III era closes on a multi-million dollar high note, with $102 million destined for the state today from the tobacco industry and another $220.8 million due Monday. Humphrey, who turns the attorney general' s office over to Mike Hatch on Monday, said the historic $6.1 billion tobacco settlement reached in May was probably the pinnacle of his 16-year career.
    • 01/01/99 HUMPHREY collects from tobacco industry Pioneer Press
        Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III rang out the old year Thursday to the jingle of cold, hard cash with the announcement that $102 million had arrived from the tobacco industry to pay for efforts to reduce smoking statewide. Humphrey also ended his 16 years in the office Thursday by noting that on Monday, when incoming Attorney General Mike Hatch and Gov.-elect Jesse Ventura are sworn in, the state will receive the first of 25 payments due annually from its $6.1 billion settlement with the tobacco industry.
    • 12/30/98 Tobacco suit's legacy yet to be seen Pioneer Press
        ``The real legacy is how we spend the money,'' said Jeanne Weigum, head of the Association for Non-Smokers Minnesota and perhaps the state's most pre-eminent anti-smoking advocate. ``I think it will be viewed as a beginning. It can't be viewed as anything more than a beginning.'' To others, the long-range impact of the year will be found in the Minneapolis depository that holds 26 million documents that were once the tobacco industry's best-kept secrets. ``I don't think the people have even begun to appreciate the implications of the depository. It's already impacting the whole rest of the world,'' said tobacco researcher Dr. Stanton Glantz of the University of California at San Francisco.

    • 01/01/99 MN: ST. PAUL jumps on New Year's Eve Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Thursday's third annual FIRSTAR'S CAPITAL NEW YEAR, which has a cash-and-in-kind budget of nearly $1 million, generates four times that in related spending by thousands in museums, restaurants, hotels, stores and elsewhere throughout downtown St. Paul -- once dead on New Year's Eve. . . Capital New Year accepts no sponsorship from alcohol, tobacco or gambling interests, despite lucrative offers. [This graph only]

    • 01/01/99MN: Lifestyles Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Minnesota adults 1998-1999 Legislature
        Smoke cigarettes 20%5 9%
        Smoke cigars xx.% 10%

    • 01/07/99 MN: Commerce Department 'satisfied' with Blue Cross tobacco plan Minneapolis Star Tribune
        The state Commerce Department has withdrawn its objections to plans by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for its $469 million tobacco settlement. The department said it is " satisfied" now that Blue Cross has agreed to add specific, regular reporting goals and requirements.

    • 01/06/99 MN: VENTURA proposes permanent medical research endowment with tobacco money Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Gov. Jesse Ventura has decided what to do with the money collected last year in the tobacco settlement: He wants to create a permanent endowment for medical research at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. " I want this endowment to be used year after year after year," he said Wednesday night at a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce dinner.

    • 01/05/99 EDITORIAL: HUBERT HUMPHREY III -- An exceptional attorney general Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Humphrey's focus on the fight ahead should not detract from the significance of the victory he won. It's a landmark settlement of a historic case. It forced the release of Big Tobacco's secret documents, which in turn will hasten redress of the injuries a reckless industry has caused. Now for Humphrey, at age 56, comes the challenge of continuing a career of public service without the platform of elective office. For someone of lesser spirit, it would be a daunting prospect. . . He'll start by teaching -- and regrouping -- for a term at Harvard University. When he returns home at term's end, he undoubtedly will be recharged for new public work. . .

    • 01/16/99 MN: HATCH blows away HUMPHREY's $6 billion 'tobacco team' Minneapolis Star Tribune
        As the first hundreds of millions of Minnesota's $6.1 billion settlement from tobacco companies flow into state coffers, most of the state lawyers who helped engineer it under former Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III are looking for work. New Attorney General Mike Hatch, as part of a general housecleaning of the office's executive ranks, has removed four of the five lawyers on Humphrey's in-house "tobacco team," and the fifth left on his own terms. . . It was no surprise that JOHNSON and Lee SHEEHY, Humphrey's chief deputy, left when Hatch took office Jan. 4. But the departures of lower-ranking lawyers Douglas BLANKE, Tom PURSELL and Scott STRAND were unexpected.
    • 01/17/99 MN: Hatch cleans house, removes lawyers Pioneer Press
        Hatch said he has removed about 15 of the office's 500 total employees. Some won't be replaced, in an effort to plug a budget gap left by Republican former Gov. Arne Carlson's veto of $1.1 million in financing for the office, Hatch said.

    • 01/18/99 EDITORIAL: Tobacco money: Make MINNESOTA "the health state" Minneapolis Star Tribune
        But if the pot is split into a couple of million pieces, there are some things it won't buy. It won't buy a new scientific understanding of nicotine and other chemical addictions, or more effective methods of conquering them. It won't contribute to a cure for cancer and other smoking-related illnesses. It won't shore up medical education and research at the University of Minnesota, or secure Minnesota's standing as a world health leader. There's only one way the tobacco money can buy treasures like these. It's to keep this year's $461 million intact, add the $848 million more in one-time payments the tobacco industry will make through 2003, and invest the $1.3 billion total as an endowment for public health. That's the choice Gov. Jesse Ventura and Senate DFLers favor. It's the choice the 1999 Legislature should make.

    • 01/18/99LETTER: Bad habits and crack habits   Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Where is the outrage? While former Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III was boasting of a multibillion-dollar "success" against tobacco companies, who was looking out for two little girls, aged 2 and 4, whose mother allegedly tried to sell them into prostitution to support a crack habit?

    • 01/19/99 MN: Computers delete, but rarely erase Minneapolis Star Tribune
        The purpose is both to wipe out any personal information and to improve computer performance by eliminating unneeded files. He charges $80 to $160 to cleanse the hard drive and reinstall the software. Ontrack has done the same for attorneys involved in Minnesota's suit against the tobacco companies. Now that the suit is over, attorneys want to be sure that sensitive files are erased before giving the computers to other employees. [This graph only]

    • 01/19/99 MN: BLUE CROSS Marks First Anniversary Of Landmark Tobacco Trial And Prepares For Hearing On Tobacco Proceeds Plan PR Newswire
        Blue Cross is marking the first anniversary with ads in newspapers across the state. The first anniversary comes just five days before an administrative hearing to consider the plan Blue Cross has proposed for investing the proceeds it is receiving from the settlement. Blue Cross has submitted its plan to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The administrative hearing, which begins Monday, Jan. 25, in the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, will hear testimony on the Blue Cross plan and give members of the public an opportunity to express their opinions. "The purpose of the trial was to defeat the tobacco industry," said Andy Czajkowski, Blue Cross CEO. "The purpose of our proceeds plan is to defeat the tobacco epidemic."

    • 01/22/99 MN: What's happening at the Capitol today Minneapolis Star Tribune
          Tobacco: Discussion of settlement and spending for cessation and prevention. House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, 8 a.m., Room 10, State Office Building. Televised on KTCI (Ch. 17). [This graph only]

    • 01/21/99 MN: Moe's $1.3 billion plan kicks off tobacco money debate Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Legislative jockeying over Minnesota's $6.1 billion tobacco settlement began in earnest Wednesday with a bipartisan move led by Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe to put $1.3 billion into permanent funds for smoking prevention, early childhood development and medical education and research.
    • 01/21/99 MN: Tobacco money: Use for poor, for research or for taxpayers? Minneapolis Star Tribune
        A coalition of health care groups, the Campaign for a Healthy Minnesota, proposed spending the entire $6.1 billion on health programs, primarily for seniors, the disabled and the poor. " It's a real fundamental question of value in our society, " said Bruce Nelson of the Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota, a coalition member. The coalition suggested several ways to spend the tobacco money, including subsidizing prescription drugs for low-income seniors, increasing pay for home health care and nursing home workers and expanding MinnesotaCare, the state's subsidized insurance program for the working poor.

    • 01/23/99 MN: BLUE CROSS, HEALTHPARTNERS settle on tobacco plan Minneapolis Star Tribune
        But after intense negotiations Thursday and Friday, Blue Cross agreed to accounting and reporting changes that would allow the public to have greater scrutiny over where the tobacco settlement dollars are spent. The deal does not leave Blue Cross free and clear to go forward with its spending plans. A public hearing on the matter remains scheduled for Monday.
    • 01/22/99 MN: Blue Cross and HealthPartners Come to Agreement on Use of Tobacco Proceeds PR Newswire
        Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and HealthPartners have resolved their differences regarding Blue Cross' Plan of Action for use of the tobacco proceeds. The agreement comes as a result of discussions initiated by the Department of Commerce on Thursday of this week.The Commerce department has issued a new consent order that reflects the changes to this plan.

    • 01/22/99 MN: EDITORIAL: Put tobacco money to work Duluth News-Tribune
        Let's not kill the proverbial goose by turning Minnesota's golden-egg tobacco settlement over to taxpayers as though it were a tax surplus. Instead, keep the benefits of the $6.1 billion settlement working for decades by creating endowments that will discourage smoking and work toward improving the health of Minnesotans.

    • 01/22/99MN: ROGER MOE: Commentary: Tobacco settlement revenue should be wisely invested Minneapolis Star Tribune
        The one-time revenue should be invested wisely in a trust fund, devoted to the public health purposes of the settlement award. The trust fund has the potential to reap further rewards for generations of Minnesotans to come. Specifically, interest paid from the trust fund can be used for long-term smoking prevention efforts, and to enhance our world-renowned medical technology, medical education and health care systems. Improving adolescent health is another worthy and appropriate goal. . . Looking back on the lives of those family members before me who suffered the ill effects of smoking, I know that they would want me to use these funds in ways that would make a difference in the health of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    • 01/27/99 MN: LETTER: Health state   Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Investing the $461 million in cancer research is a noble way to spend someone else's money, but taking my daughter to the dentist isn't a bad idea, either. Am I "selfish" for wanting to invest my share in my family's health instead of letting the government throw the money into a bureaucratic black hole?

    • 01/31/99MN: Budget highlights Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Tobacco settlement: $1.3 billion of the $6.1 billion tobacco settlement would establish one foundation and three endowments to benefit Minnesota families and health and medical programs. [This graph only]

    • 01/30/99 MN: Coalition of Black Churches knocks Ventura's appointments Minneapolis Star Tribune
        "Mr. Ventura's appointments and established budgetary and legislative priorities at a time when we have a billion-dollar-plus surplus and $6 billion-plus settlement from the tobacco industry reveals that he does not appear to have the interest of the African-American and other communities of color at heart," Staten said, reading from a prepared statement at a State Capitol news conference. As an example, said Staten, smoking is disproportionately high among blacks, but nothing in the governor's budget specifically focuses on smoking addiction among blacks. [This graph only]

    • 01/29/99 MN: Minnesota's New Chief Pushes Net as Political Tool New York Times
        This week, the Senate and House Democrats set up an online town meeting , using a Web site that allows people to discuss the budget surplus, education issues and the state's tobacco settlement.

    • 01/29/99 MN: Ventura budget provides tax relief and plenty new spending Minneapolis Star Tribune
        For those who clearly need help, Ventura offered what some called an innovative and unexpected approach: using $600 million of the tobacco settlement to create an endowment for the Minnesota Families Foundation -- a new nonprofit agency whose sole purpose would be getting families off government programs.
    • 01/29/99 MN: Ventura's budget includes frogs, tourists, odors Minneapolis Star Tribune
        The governor recommended that $1.3 billion from the state tobacco settlement be used to create three endowments and a foundation aimed at improving the health and welfare of Minnesotans. The biggest investment, $600 million, would fund a Minnesota Families Foundation.
    • 01/28/99 MN: Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Earmarked for Blue Cross Foundation to Make Major Impact on Minnesota PR Newswire
        The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation begins the new year with an addition of $21 million and becomes the state's largest foundation exclusively dedicating its assets to improving the health of Minnesotans.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced today that it has transferred the $21 million to its foundation. The funds, which will nearly triple the foundation's size, are a result of last year's historic settlement of the landmark lawsuit Blue Cross brought against the tobacco industry.

    • 01/28/99 MN: VENTURA's budget likely to contain high-profile initiatives Minneapolis Star Tribune
        He said the priorities will be clear: tax cuts, limits on the growth of the state budget, a strong emphasis on public education -- with specific initiatives for K-12 and higher ed -- and a detailed plan for using the $1.3 billion in one-time tobacco settlement money expected between now and 2004. Ventura has said repeatedly that he wants at least a portion of that tobacco money to be used for a medical research endowment fund. The additional ongoing tobacco settlement payments of about $100 million a year were incorporated into the general fund, Pfutzenreuter said, and are used in the budget to fund a variety of Ventura proposals.

    • 01/26/99 MN: HATCH files protest against Blue Cross plan for tobacco money Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Attorney General Mike Hatch attacked Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's plan for spending its $469 million tobacco settlement money on reducing smoking and promoting health as a " public relations gimmick." Hatch also faulted the Blue Cross spending plan as potentially disruptive to the health insurance market and unfair to past subscribers. . . But nearly 20 speakers endorsed the Blue Cross proposal and urged the state commerce commissioner, who regulates the insurer, to approve it.

    • 01/29/99 EDITORIAL: State budget -- Ventura delivers a satisfying package Minneapolis Star Tribune
        Editorial: State budget -- Ventura delivers a satisfying package

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    • ©1998 Gene Borio, Tobacco BBS (212-982-4645). WebPage: http://www.tobacco.org).Original Tobacco BBS material may be reprinted in any non-commercial venue if accompanied by this credit

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