Fraud suit against Scruggs settled

A settlement has been reached in a long-running fraud lawsuit filed against Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, the once powerful anti-tobacco litigator who is now behind bars, an attorney says.

William Roberts Wilson, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, Ala., first sued Scruggs in 1994, accusing the Mississippi attorney of cheating him out of millions of dollars in fees from asbestos lawsuits the two worked on together. Wilson claimed Scruggs used the money to fund the landmark anti-tobacco litigation of the 1990s.

The settlement in the disputes with Scruggs was reached Thursday, said Charles Merkel, a Clarksdale attorney for Wilson.

Merkel would not detail the terms of the settlement, saying they are confidential. The settlement order hasn’t appeared on the federal court’s Web site.

“We’re very satisfied and very pleased that after 15 years most of it is finally over,” Merkel said.

Clarion Ledger