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Lawyer: Tobacco Companies Quashed Settlement

Attorneys for flight attendants suing over second-hand smoke say three tobacco companies worked together to quash a $10 million settlement deal.

The flight attendants, suing over years of second-hand smoke exposure suffered while working in smoke-filled airplane cabins, claim they can prove that R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris, and Brown & Williamson banded together to pressure tobacco company Lorillard into withdrawing the offered settlement.

Attorney Marvin Weinstein, who is representing the plaintiffs, said the three tobacco companies promised Lorillard they would assist in paying future judgments if the company agreed to withdraw the settlement offer.

Weinstein said he and other attorneys in the case actually have documents proving that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Brown & Williamson conspired to quash the deal in 2001.

"They actually reduced their conspiracy to writing," Weinstein said.

He plans to present the documents and other evidence of the alleged conspiracy to a judge at a future hearing.

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