National arbitration panel backs State of Iowa in tobacco payment dispute

McDowell Rice served as co-counsel for the State of Iowa in a national arbitration in which a three-member panel comprised of former Article III judges unanimously ruled on September 11, 2013 that the State of Iowa “diligently enforced” state laws against tobacco companies that did not sign the $206 billion, 25-year Master Settlement Agreement in 1998 between the tobacco companies and 46 states, including Iowa. The decision is a significant legal victory of the state in a years-long dispute with major tobacco companies that have withheld a significant portion of their 2003 settlement payments to the MSA states and territories, including Iowa. Kristie Orme represented the State of Iowa, along with Roger Stone of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.