The State Supreme Court has ruled the compensation paid private attornies arguing Missouri’s case against the tobacco industry was not excessive. The lawyers were paid a total of $111 million. The team of private lawyers represented the state in its lawsuit against the industry, claiming tobacco use cost the state billions in health care over the year. The court has refused to consider a lower-court ruling that the payment is proper. The lawyers worked as assistant attorneys general. Those filing the lawsuit claimed they should not have been paid more than fulltime assistants in the attorney general’s office. The lawyer fees were paid by the tobacco companies. It does not come out of the multi-billion dollar settlement the state is receiving from the tobacco industry.
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