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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
David Paulson, 410-576-6357
dpaulson@oag.state.md.us

AAttorney General Gansler Asks Court to Require Tobacco Manufacturer Make Payments
Maryland firm has failed to pay $420,000 into escrow account

BALTIMORE, MD ( Nov. 22, 2011) - Leading a national effort to uphold the terms of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with tobacco manufacturers, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has filed an enforcement action to ensure that states receive all payments they are entitled under the MSA, which is designed to protect the public from the health hazards of cigarette smoking. The Maryland tobacco company subject to this action is General Jack's, Inc which is based in Hunt Valley.

"We remain diligent in holding all tobacco companies to the letter of the agreement and the laws of the State of Maryland," said Attorney General Gansler. "This action is part of our efforts to ensure tobacco manufacturers comply with the MSA as we help to protect current and future generations from the harmful consequences of tobacco addiction."

The enforcement action, filed recently in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, alleges that General Jack's, Inc. failed to make payments into an escrow account for cigarette sales during the first two quarters of 2011, which is required under a 2006 agreement related to the 1998 MSA.

Sales figures for the first two quarters of 2011 indicated General Jack's should have paid $420,202.68 into the escrow account by Aug. 31, 2011. In correspondence with the Maryland Attorney General's Office, General Jack's said it would comply with its MSA obligations by September 30, 2011. The payment has still not been made.

Attorney General Gansler, on behalf of 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and four U.S. territories who are signatories to the MSA, asked the Court to require General Jack's to abide by the agreement and immediately remit delinquent payments into the escrow account.

Under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, Maryland has received approximately $150 million each year beginning in 1999.

   

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