A FORK IN TOBACCO ROAD

LIGGETT BREAKS RANKS AND SETTLES SEVERAL LAWSUITS. CAN THE OTHER CIGARETTE MAKERS STILL HANG TOUGH?

IT BEGAN OVER A DRINK IN A NEW YORK City hotel, after two adversaries agreed to settle a hard-fought case about defective plumbing pipes. "What are you going to do next?" New York attorney Marc Kasowitz asked. Don Barrett, a Mississippi lawyer, explained that he was involved in his state's lawsuit to recoup Medicaid money spent treating smoking-related illnesses. Kasowitz quizzed him, but, says Barrett, "I didn't realize he was the personal friend and attorney for Ben LeBow." Not until a few weeks later, that is, when Kasowitz called Barrett to arrange a meeting and floated the news that his client,...

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