YAKIMA, Wash. - A tobacco manufacturer owned by a Yakima Nation Tribal member must pay into an escrow account established under a 1998 settlement with big tobacco companies.
A federal judge ruled Friday that King Mountain Tobacco is required to pay under the 1998 settlement. The settlement requires big tobacco companies to pay money to 46 states each year to offset public health costs from their products. The settlement requires smaller companies to pay into an escrow account, but that money could be returned eventually if no health claims are made.
King Mountain Tobacco claims it should be exempt from paying in the escrow accounts under the Yakama Nation's 1855 treaty with the federal government.