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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2003
Statement from Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire Regarding the Madison County Court Ruling on the Philip Morris Appeal Bond


Olympia -- The judge exercised his option to balance important interests in setting the appeal bond. As we suggested to the court, the new appeal bond will avoid adverse impact on the states and still be sufficient to protect the interests of Illinois consumers.

The Judge accepted an appeal bond of $6.8 billion which includes a $6 billion note and $800 million cash to be paid in $200 million quarterly payments beginning in September 2003.

For too long taxpayers have shouldered billions of dollars in medical costs for tobacco related illnesses. The judges ruling ensures that Philip Morris will continue to help defray the staggering cost of tobacco use and reduce that burden on innocent taxpayers.

Medical costs related to smoking are more than $1.5 billion a year in Washington. Each household in Washington must pay more than $130 per year for smoking-related health care costs.

This battle wasn't about preserving Philip Morris, it was about holding them legally accountable and protecting Washington taxpayers. The tobacco settlement provided hard-fought relief for taxpayers and it was threatened by a class action lawsuit for Illinois smokers. The judge's decision fairly protected the legal rights of Washington taxpayers.

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