1996 Mar 13:The Liggett group broke ranks with the industry by settling the Castano (largest ever) class-action lawsuit (60 law companies) out of court -- at a price of less than $2 million a year for 25 years. 
1996 Aug 27: Wall Street Journal reports that a plan to settle the lawsuit over liabilities was circulating on Capital Hill. Hubert H Humphrey III, the attorney general of Minnesota said it was far too soft on the tobacco industry.
1997 Jun 20: The Master Settlement Agreement is announced between the tobacco companies and 40 state attorneys general and lawyers representing plaintiffs in 26 pending class-actions. BAT, PM and RJR sign the$369.5 billion settlement agreement with the US State Attorneys-General, however it remained under consideration by Congess into 1998.   It: