For Immediate Release
April 24, 2013
Richard W. Head, Associate Attorney General
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced today a settlement by New Hampshire and nineteen other states that resolves ten years of litigation with the major tobacco manufacturers regarding the interpretation of the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement ("MSA"). Pursuant to the MSA, New Hampshire has been receiving an annual payment from the tobacco manufacturers averaging $42,000,000. As a result of the settlement announced today, New Hampshire will receive approximately $57.3 million, which is about $15 million more than what was budgeted for fiscal year 2013.
The litigation arose out of a dispute between the states and the tobacco companies that joined the MSA regarding the treatment of tobacco companies that did not join the MSA. The settling tobacco companies, known as Participating Manufacturers ("PMs") claimed that the states did not "diligently enforce" certain obligations of the tobacco companies that did not join the MSA, known as the Non Participating Manufacturers ("NPMs"). The PMs claimed that they were entitled to a refund of all or part of the annual payments made to the states between 2003 and 2013. Since 2006, most of the PMs have withheld a portion of their annual payments to New Hampshire and the other states and placed the funds in escrow in a disputed payments account. The funds received by New Hampshire in 2013 represent a release of New Hampshire's allocation of the money held in the disputed payment account. New Hampshire will pay its share of the settlement to the PMs by a reduction in the annual payment through 2017.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301