States' Medicaid Lawsuits

The following timeline details the story told in FRONTLINE'S documentary "Inside the Tobacco Deal" - chronicling how the state Attorneys General brought the tobacco industry to the negotiating table through the filing of some 40 state Medicaid cases against the tobacco industry.

It all started in the state of Mississippi where attorney Mike Lewis came up with the idea of suing the tobacco industry on behalf of taxpayers who have to cover the Medicaid costs paid out by the state for treating sick smokers. Lewis took his idea to the Attorney General of Mississippi, Michael Moore. Moore then hired plaintiff attorney Dick Scruggs and Ron Motley.


1988Michael Moore is elected Attorney General of Mississippi.

May 1993Mike Lewis visits his secretary's mother, Jackie Thompson, in the Memphis hospital and begins discussing a suit against the tobacco industry on her behalf. In the elevator after the visit, Mike Lewis comes up with the idea of suing the tobacco industry on behalf of the state to recover costs from treating smokers.

5/23/94Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore announces the filing of a suit against the tobacco industry, It seeks to recoup $940 million the state spent treating sick smokers.

8/17/94Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

9/20/94Attorney General of West Virginia files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

12/94Florida Legislature passes a law making it much easier to sue the tobacco industry for Medicaid costs. The tobacco industry fights the passage of the law, but loses.

9/20/94Attorney General of West Virginia files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

12/94Florida Legislature passes a law making it much easier to sue the tobacco industry for Medicaid costs. The tobacco industry fights the passage of the law, but looses.

11/29/95Jeffrey Wigand is deposed in Pascagoula, in state of Mississippi's Medicaid lawsuit against the tobacco industry.

12/19/95Massachusetts files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

3/96The Liggett tobacco group settles with five states and 67 law firms suing the industry - the first such agreement in 40 years of litigation.

3/96Steven Goldstone, RJR Nabisco CEO says the industry would consider settlement.

3/13/96Louisiana files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

3/28/96Texas files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

4/11/96New Jersey announces that they will file a Medicaid suit against the tobacco indsutry. Actually file suit on 9/10/96.

5/96Federal appeals court dismisses the Castano national class-action lawsuit. Lawyers in the Castano group begin filing class-action lawsuits in individual states.

5/1/96Maryland files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/5/96Washington files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

7/18/96Connecticut files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

8/20/96Kansas files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

8/21/96Michigan files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

8/22/96Oklahoma files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

9/10/96New Jersey files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

9/30/96Utah files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

10/96B.A.T. Industries CEO Martin Broughton says a settlement of tobacco lawsuits would be "common sense."

10/17/96Alabama files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

11/12/96Illinois files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

11/27/96Iowa files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

12/96RJR hires North Carolina lawyer Phil Carlton to lobby the White House and try to meet with Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore.

1/27/97New York files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

1/31/97Hawaii files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

2/5/97Wisconsin files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

2/19/97Indiana files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

3/97The Mississippi Supreme Court rules that the state's lawsuit can proceed to trial.

3/97Liggett CEO Bennett LeBow settles with more than 20 states and agrees to release internal industry documents.

3/18/97Joe Rice, an attorney in Ron Motley's law firm, meets for the first time in Charlotte, NC, with tobacco industry attorneys to discuss a settlement of all lawsuits facing the industry, the first time a major tobacco company representative sits across the table from an antitobacco attorney, apart from litigation.

3/31/97Mike Moore, Dick Scruggs, Matt Myers, and John Coale meet with Phil Carlton.

4/3/97Phillip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible, RJR Nabisco's CEO Steven Goldstone, and their attorneys meet in Crystal City, VA, with state attorneys general to discuss a national settlement.

4/14/97Alaska files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

4/22/97Pennsylvania files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/5/97Montana files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/5/97Arkansas files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/8/97Ohio files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/9/97South Carolina files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/10/97Missouri files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/21/97Nevada files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/27/97New Mexico files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

5/28/97Scruggs and Moore meet with the leaders of the Public Health community in Chicago to discuss the potential deal.

5/29/97Vermont files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/4/97New Hampshire files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/5/97Colorado files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/10/97Oregon files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/97Idaho files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/12/97California files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/16/97Puerto Rico files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/18/97Maine files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

Rhode Island files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

6/20/97The tobacco companies and state attorneys general announce a landmark $368.5 billion settlement agreement

7/15/97Mississippi settles its Medicaid case with the tobacco industry for $3.4 billion dollars.

8/25/97Florida settles. Tobacco companies agree to pay $11.3 billion.

8/29/97Georgia files a Medicaid suit against the tobacco industry.

1/15/98Texas settles with the tobacco industry for a record $14.5 billion.

1/26/98Minnesota trial starts.

 Click here for specific case filings

 

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