A court ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier today lets stand a 2009 Louisiana appellate court decision ordering several tobacco companies to pay more than $240,000,000 to fund a smoking cessation program authorized in the ongoing Scott v. American Tobacco Co, Inc. litigation. This program is to be funded for a ten-year period and will be operated by a third-party administrator.
The law office of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar served as Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel throughout this litigation. The two attorneys, Russ Herman and Stephen J. Herman, are pleased with this ruling and hope to get the program underway so that their clients can finally see their years of hard work come to fruition.
“After a three-year trial and a seven-year appeals process going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court” says Stephen J. Herman of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, “we are happy that the court-supervised programs awarded by the jury in 2004 can now be funded, so that smokers can get assistance in quitting from qualified Louisiana healthcare providers.”
The ten-year cessation program had finally been approved by the Louisiana court in 2009, but because of appeals by the tobacco companies, had not yet begun. Therefore, not a single habitual smoker has yet benefitted from the program. After today’s ruling, it will be up to the Honorable Richard J. Ganucheau to see that the court-supervised program is established and implemented.
The money from this judgment, which totals more than $240 million, will fund a statewide cessation program comprised of four components, including cessation related medications, telephone quit lines, health intervention systems and intensive cessation programs.
“This is a great day for the state of Louisiana and the health of its citizens,” says Herman.