Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
In 1997, Florida entered into a historic settlement with four major tobacco companies. Twenty years later, that agreement still requires these companies to make hundreds of millions of dollars in annual payments to the state. Recently, one of these companies, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, sold four popular cigarette brands to ITG Brands, LLC, but no payments are being paid to the state for the sales of these brands.
These brands accounted for approximately 17 billion cigarettes sold in 2016 alone and they continue to impose the very public health care costs that the settlement payments are intended to compensate.
This week, in an effort to recover millions of dollars of lost revenue, my office filed a motion against RJR and ITG to enforce the explicit terms of the tobacco settlement agreement. The sale of major, pre-existing tobacco brands to another company does not cause the payment obligations to vanish like a puff of smoke and I look forward to the state obtaining prompt relief.
Holding these companies responsible for the millions of dollars of missed payments will help make the state whole and ensure any future sale of brands covered under the 1997 agreement encompasses the obligations from that historic settlement.
Attorney General Bondi Files Antitrust Action Against Producers of Water Treatment Chemical
Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a federal antitrust action against liquid aluminum sulfate producers General Chemical Corporation and its successor and affiliated companies, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. and C&S Chemicals, Inc. and its affiliated company. These companies allegedly conspired to restrain trade, rig bids and reduce competition in Florida for liquid aluminum sulfate, a water treatment chemical. Municipalities and other governmental entities use liquid aluminum sulfate to purify both drinking water and wastewater. Pulp and paper manufacturers also use liquid aluminum sulfate in their manufacturing processes.
“A chemical used to purify drinking water and wastewater is essential for maintaining the health and welfare of Floridians, and efforts to rig the market for this chemical has forced our government entities to pay too much,” said Attorney General Bondi. “The action filed seeks to protect the interests of Florida municipalities, counties and other state entities and hold these companies accountable.” More.
Attorney General Bondi Issues Statement on Florida Supreme Court Decision in McCall v. Scott
Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement in response to the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to deny the review of a case challenging Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program:
“The Florida Supreme Court declined to review McCall v. Scott, a case dismissed by the lower court challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program. I am pleased that the lower court’s decision will stand and that this important program will continue to provide educational opportunities for children of families that have limited financial resources. Today is a great victory for our children.” More.
Laura Boeckman, Bureau Chief of the Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit in North Florida, receiving The Florida Bar’s President’s Pro Bono Service Award. Attorney General Pam Bondi thanks Laura for her commitment to helping Floridians.