Smokers Can Recover from $580 Million Dollar Trust Fund

April 24, 2008

A Florida Court has paved the way for sick smokers in Florida to recover damages for smoking illnesses they may have.  Smokers have until June 16, 2008 to file a claim for numerous smoking related illnesses which they have suffered due to long term exposure to smoking.
The settlement resulted from a 2000 in which Cigarette makers were hit with a $145 Billion Dollar Verdict.  The amount was later lowered to $709 million, of which $580 million dollars remains to satisfy smokers claims.
The Court anticipates that anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 smokers will file claims against the Fund. 
The Judge presiding over the Fund has indicated that the Fund will be distributed on an equal basis depending on the actual number of claims.  Some of the people involved in the case from the beginning are unhappy that the judge decided to distribute the money equally rather than focusing on the original class.   Pompano Beach Attorney Joseph M. Maus says “there has to be consideration given to individual claims.  No two claims will be the same, and many claims will differ drastically depending on the level of illness which occurred to the individual, or whether a death occurred.”
Smokers must be able to prove they were Florida residents and had documented symptoms of a smoking-related disease before November 1996.   Once the smokers are cleared for a portion of the settlement, they will likely have to deal with Medicare, Medicaid, and the IRS, who may all have claim to any proceeds received.
For more information, log on to www.jmmlawyers.com or call Attorney Maus toll free at (866) 556-5529  .

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