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|ALTRIA GROUP, INC. filed this Form 8-K on 02/01/2018|
Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
▪Tobacco-Related Cases Set for Trial: As of January 29, 2018, three Engle progeny cases are set for trial through March 31, 2018. There are no other individual smoking and health cases against PM USA set for trial during this period. Cases against other companies in the tobacco industry may be scheduled for trial during this period. Trial dates are subject to change.
▪Trial Results: Since January 1999, excluding the Engle progeny cases (separately discussed below), verdicts have been returned in 63 smoking and health, “Lights/Ultra Lights” and health care cost recovery cases in which PM USA was a defendant. Verdicts in favor of PM USA and other defendants were returned in 42 of the 63 cases. These 42 cases were tried in Alaska (1), California (7), Connecticut (1), Florida (10), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (2), Mississippi (1), Missouri (4), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New York (5), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (2) and West Virginia (2). A motion for a new trial was granted in one of the cases in Florida and in the case in Alaska. In the Alaska case (Hunter), the trial court withdrew its order for a new trial upon PM USA’s motion for reconsideration. In December 2015, the Alaska Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision and remanded the case with directions for the trial court to reassess whether to grant a new trial. In March 2016, the trial court granted a new trial and PM USA filed a petition for review of that order with the Alaska Supreme Court, which the court denied in July 2016. The retrial began in October 2016. In November 2016, the court declared a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict. The plaintiff subsequently moved for a new trial, which is scheduled to begin April 9, 2018. See Types and Number of Cases above for a discussion of the trial results in In re: Tobacco Litigation (West Virginia consolidated cases).
Of the 21 non-Engle progeny cases in which verdicts were returned in favor of plaintiffs, 18 have reached final resolution.
As of January 29, 2018, 116 state and federal Engle progeny cases involving PM USA have resulted in verdicts since the Florida Supreme Court’s Engle decision as follows: 61 verdicts were returned in favor of plaintiffs; 45 verdicts were returned in favor of PM USA. Eight verdicts that were initially returned in favor of plaintiff were reversed post-trial or on appeal and remain pending and two verdicts in favor of PM USA were reversed for a new trial. See Smoking and Health Litigation - Engle Progeny Trial Court Results below for a discussion of these verdicts.
▪Judgments Paid and Provisions for Tobacco and Health Litigation Items (Including Engle Progeny Litigation): After exhausting all appeals in those cases resulting in adverse verdicts associated with tobacco-related litigation, since October 2004, PM USA has paid in the aggregate judgments and settlements (including related costs and fees) totaling approximately $490 million and interest totaling approximately $184 million as of December 31, 2017. These amounts include payments for Engle progeny judgments (and related costs and fees) totaling approximately $99 million, interest totaling approximately $22 million and payment of approximately $43 million in connection with the Federal Engle Agreement, discussed below.
The changes in Altria Group, Inc.’s accrued liability for tobacco and health litigation items, including related interest costs, for the periods specified below are as follows:
The accrued liability for tobacco and health litigation items, including related interest costs, was included in liabilities on Altria Group, Inc.’s consolidated balance sheets. Pre-tax charges for tobacco and health judgments, the agreement to resolve federal Engle progeny cases and the agreements to resolve the Aspinall and Miner “lights” class action cases (excluding related interest costs of approximately $10 million in Aspinall) were included in marketing, administration and research costs on Altria Group, Inc.’s consolidated statements of earnings. Pre-tax charges for related interest costs were included in interest and other debt expense, net on Altria Group, Inc.’s consolidated statements of earnings.
▪Security for Judgments: To obtain stays of judgments pending current appeals, as of December 31, 2017, PM USA has posted various forms of security totaling approximately $61 million, the majority of which has been collateralized with cash deposits that are included in assets on the consolidated balance sheet.