Information About Archives|
Master Settlement Agreement Provisions Regarding Internet Documents|
The following text is excerpted from the November 23, 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and represents those portions of the agreement that directly address the public access to documents via the Internet.
IV. PUBLIC ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
(a) After the MSA Execution Date, the Original Participating Manufacturers and the Tobacco-Related Organizations will support an application for the dissolution of any protective orders entered in each Settling State’s lawsuit identified in Exhibit D with respect only to those documents, indices and privilege logs that have been produced as of the MSA Execution Date to such Settling State and (1) as to which defendants have made no claim, or have no claim, or have withdrawn any claim, of attorney-client privilege, attorney work-product protection, common interest/joint defense privilege (collectively, "privilege"), trade-secret protection, or confidential or proprietary business information; and (2) that are not inappropriate for public disclosure because of personal privacy interests or contractual rights of third parties that may not be abrogated by the Original Participating Manufacturers or the Tobacco-Related Organizations
(b) Notwithstanding State-Specific Finality, if any order, ruling or recommendation was issued prior to September 17, 1998 rejecting a claim of privilege or trade-secret protection with respect to any document or documents in a lawsuit identified in Exhibit D, the Settling State in which such order, ruling or recommendation was made may, no later than 45 days after the occurrence of State-Specific Finality in such Settling State, seek public disclosure of such document or documents by application to the court that issued such order, ruling or recommendation and the court shall retain jurisdiction for such purposes. The Original Participating Manufacturers and Tobacco-Related Organizations do not consent to, and may object to, appeal from or otherwise oppose any such application for disclosure. The Original Participating Manufacturers and Tobacco-Related Organizations do not consent to, and may object to, appeal from or otherwise oppose any such application for disclosure. The Original Participating Manufacturers and Tobacco-Related Organizations will not assert that the settlement of such lawsuit has divested the court of jurisdiction or that such Settling State lacks standing to seek public disclosure on any applicable ground.
(c) The Original Participating Manufacturers will maintain at their expense their Internet document websites accessible through "TobaccoResolution.com" or a similar website until June 30, 2010. The Original Participating Manufacturers will maintain the documents that currently appear on their respective websites and will add additional documents to their websites as provided in this section IV.
(d) Within 180 days after the MSA Execution Date, each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organization will place or its website copies of the following documents, except as provided in subsections IV(e) and IV(f) below:
(1) all documents produced by such Original Participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organizations as of the MSA Execution Date in any action identified in Exhibit D or any action identified in section 2 of Exhibit H that was filed by an Attorney General. Among these documents, each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organization will give the highest priority to (A) the documents that were listed by the State of Washington as trial exhibits in the State of Washington v. American Tobacco Co., et al., No. 96-2-15056-8 SEA (Wash. Super, Ct., County of King); and (B) the documents as to which such Original participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organization withdrew any claim of privilege as a result of the re-examination of privilege claims pursuant to court order in State of Oklahoma v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., CJ-96-2499-L (Dist. Ct., Cleveland County);
(2) all documents that can be identified as having been produced by, and copies of transcripts of depositions given by, such Original Participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organization as of the MSA Execution Date in the litigation matters specified in section 1 of Exhibit H; and
(3) all documents produced by such Original Participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organization as of the MSA Execution Date and listed by the plaintiffs as trial exhibits in the litigation matters specified in section 2 of Exhibit H.
(e) Unless copies of such documents are already on its website, each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organization will place on its website copies of documents produced in any production of documents required to be placed on a website pursuant to this subsection will be placed on such website within the later of 45 days after the MSA Execution Date or within 45 days after the production of such documents in any federal or state court action concerning smoking and health. This obligation will continue until June 30, 2010. In placing such newly produced documents on its website, each Original Participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organization will identify, as part of its index to be created pursuant to subsection IV(h), the action in which it produced such documents and the date on which such documents were added to its website.
(f) Nothing in this section IV shall require any Original Participating Manufacturer or Tobacco-Related Organization to place on its website or otherwise disclose documents that: (1) it continues to claim to be ;privileged, a trade secret, confidential or proprietary business information, or that contain other information not appropriate for public disclosure because of personal privacy interests or contractual rights of third parties; or (2) continue to be subject to any protective order, sealing order or other order or ruling that prevents or limits a litigant from disclosing such documents.
(g) Oversized or multimedia records will not be required to be placed on the Website, but each Original Participating Manufacturers and Tobacco-Related Organizations will make any such records available to the public by placing copies of them in the document depository established in The State of Minnesota, et al. v. Philip Morris Incorporated, et al., C1-94-8565 (County of Ramsey, District Court, 2d Judicial Cir.).
(h) Each Original Participating Manufacturer will establish an index and other features to improve searchable access to the document images on its website, as set forth in Exhibit I.
(i) Within 90 days after the MSA Execution Date, the Original Participating Manufacturers will furnish NAAG with a project plan for completing the Original Participating Manufacturers’ obligations under subsection IV(h) with respect to documents currently on their websites and documents being placed on their websites pursuant to subsection IV(d). NAAG may engage a computer consultant at the Original Participating Manufacturers’ expense for a period not to exceed two years and at a cost not to exceed $100,000. NAAG’s computer consultant may review such plan and make recommendations consistent with this Agreement. In addition, within 120 days after the completion of the Original Participating Manufacturers’ obligations under subsection IV(d), NAAG’s computer consultant may make final recommendations with respect to the websites consistent with this Agreement. In preparing these recommendations, NAAG’s computer consultant may seek input from Settling State officials, public health organizations and other users of the websites.
(j) The expenses incurred pursuant to subsection IV(i), and the expenses related to documents of the Tobacco-Related Organizations, will be severally shared among the Original Participating Manufacturers (allocated among them according to their Relative Market Shares). All other expenses incurred under this section will be borne by the Original Participating Manufacturer that incurs such expense.
* * *
LIST OF LAWSUITS
New York State
For each Settling State not listed above, the lawsuit or other legal action filed by the Attorney General or Governor of such Settling State against Participating Manufacturers in the Court in such Settling State prior to 30 days after the MSA Execution Date asserting Released Claims.
* * *
(a) Philip Morris Companies, Inc., et al., v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al., At Law No. 760CL94X00816-00 (Cir. Ct., City of Richmond)
(b) Harley-Davidson v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., No. 93-947 (S.D.N.Y.)
(c) Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Harley-Davidson, No. 93-6098 (E.D. Wis.)
(d) Brown & Williamson v. Jacobson and CBS, Inc., No. 82-648 (N.D. Ill.)
(e) The FTC investigations of tobacco industry advertising and promotion as embodied in the following cites:
Each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organization will conduct its own reasonable inquiry to determine what documents or deposition testimony, if any, it produced or provided in the above-listed matters.
(a) State of Washington v. American Tobacco Co., et al., No. 96-2-15056-8 SEA (Wash. Super. Ct., County of King)
(b) In re Mike Moore, Attorney General, ex rel, State of Mississippi Tobacco Litigation, No. 94-1429 (Chancery Ct., Jackson, Miss.)
(c) State of Florida v. American Tobacco Co., et al., No. CL 95-1466 AH (Fla. Cir. Ct., 15th Judicial Cir., Palm Beach Co.)
(d) State of Texas v. American Tobacco Co., et al., No. 5-96CV-91 (E.D. Tex.)
(e) Minnesota v. Philip Morris et al., No. C-94-8565 (Minn. Dist. Ct., County of Ramsey)
(f) Broin v. R.J. Reynolds, No. 91-49738 CA (22) (11th Judicial Ct., Dade County, Florida)
INDEX AND SEARCH FEATURES FOR DOCUMENT WEBSITE
(a) Each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organizations will create and maintain on its website, at its expense, an enhanced, searchable index, as described below, using Alta-Vista or functionally comparable software, for all of the documents currently on its website and all documents being placed on its website pursuant to section IV of this Agreement.
(b) The searchable indices of documents on these websites will include:
(1) all of the information contained in the 4(b) indices produced to the State Attorneys General (excluding fields specific only to the Minnesota action other than "request number");
(2) the following additional fields of information (or their substantial equivalent) to the extent such information already exists in an electronic format that can be incorporated into such an index:
(c) Each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organization will add, if not already available, a user-friendly document retrieval feature on the Website consisting of a "view all pages" function with enhanced image viewer capability that will enable users to choose to view and/or print either "all pages" for a specific document or "page-by-page".
(d) Each Original Participating Manufacturer and Tobacco-Related Organizations will provide at its own expense to NAAG a copy set in electronic form of its website document images an dits accompanying subsection IV(h) index in ASCII-defined in subsection IV(d) of this Agreement. The Original Participating Manufacturers and Tobacco-Related Organizations will not object to any subsequent distribution and/or reproduction of these copy sets.
[ back to top ]