The owner of the nation’s fifth-largest cigarette company testified Monday that industry giant Philip Morris paid his financially ailing company’s legal bills for several months in 1995 in an unsuccessful attempt to keep him from breaking Big Tobacco’s solidarity on the issue of whether smoking causes cancer.
“We accepted it for a while,” said Bennett LeBow, owner of the Liggett Group, “but they canceled after five, six months.”
LeBow did not specify how much money Liggett got from its largest competitor, but he did say that at the time Liggett was spending $10 million a year defending itself from accusations that its products were killing its customers.
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