Lawyers awarded $775 mln in tobacco case
A panel of independent arbitrators in Boston on Thursday ordered the tobacco industry to pay $775 million in legal fees to the five firms that sued on behalf of Massachusetts, the tobacco companies and a law firm involved in the suit said.
The award will be divided among the law firms, with lead counsel Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer, P.C., receiving 23 percent of the total legal fees, the lead counsel said.
The attorneys had asked for one fourth of Massachusetts' $8.3 billion part of the settlement, or $2.075 billion a tobacco industry representative said.
The money to the state will be paid over 25 years, the industry representative said.
The award was set up as part of the $206 billion Multi-State Agreement reached last November between 46 states and the largest tobacco companies. The money to the states will be paid over 25 years, the industry representative said.
Lawyers representing about 10 other states have petitioned to have the panel settle their fees, the tobacco industry representative said.