'Gray Market' Cigarette Sellers Sue
Discount cigarette distributors filed a federal lawsuit challenging last year's $206 billion settlement between big tobacco companies and attorneys general in 47 states, an attorney said Thursday.
The lawsuit is the latest shot fired in a long-running battle between the tobacco companies and so-called ``gray market'' distributors who buy cigarettes manufactured in the U.S. for overseas markets at cheap rates, then re-import them and sell them to U.S. smokers at huge discounts.
Tobacco companies have sued dozens of discount distributors and have lobbied state governments and the International Trade Commission to ban the sales.
The new lawsuit, filed Aug. 13 in U.S. District Court, was made public in a statement issued by Matthew Fairshter, a Pasadena attorney representing the discount marketers.