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R.J. Reynolds Attempt To Shed Liability Thwarted By Appeals Court

Cigarettes in pack on the breadboard
Alexander Kharchenko/doomu
/
Adobe Stock
Several Cigarettes in pack on the breadboard

The Fourth District Court of Appeal has held R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company responsible for close to $100 million dollars owed to the State of Florida. The case stems from a 1997 settlement where cigarette makers agreed to pay the state because of smoking-related health costs. Reynolds thought it had escaped liability when it sold the cigarette brands to ITG Brands.

In Wednesday’s ruling judges agreed with an argument Elizabeth McCallum, the attorney representing ITG Brands, made during the trial.

“If you buy an asset you do not take obligations unless you expressly or impliedly agree to take those obligations," said McCallum

R.J. Reynolds sold four brands of cigarettes to ITG - Salem, Winston, Kool, and Maverick.