Hood said the 1997 tobacco settlement requires the company to pay Mississippi for every cigarette it makes and ships.
After discovering R.J. Reynolds was going through a third party manufacturer, Hood said his office contacted the company. “We wrote them and said, ‘Are you including the Star shipments?’ The in-house counsel replied and said yes. They just lied and thought they could get away with it.”
The state’s attorneys are asking the judge to punish the company for its actions, he said. “Hopefully the judge will hit them with punitive damages.”
R.J. Reynolds’ attorneys have called what happened a mistake by the in-house counsel.