Home Local News FEDERAL COURT RULES FOR HO-CHUNK IN TOBACCO LAWSUIT

FEDERAL COURT RULES FOR HO-CHUNK IN TOBACCO LAWSUIT

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A NEBRASKA FEDERAL JUDGE HAS RULED THAT THE STATE CANNOT TAKE REVENUE FROM TOBACCO SALES ON THE WINNEBAGO RESERVATION.

THE DECISION IS A VICTORY FOR TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND ENDS A LAWSUIT BY WINNEBAGO TRIBE-OWNED COMPANIES AGAINST NEBRASKA OFFICIALS.

HO-CHUNK, INC. SUBSIDIARIES HCI DISTRIBUTION AND ROCK RIVER MANUFACTURING SUED NEBRASKA PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN 2018 FOR WHAT THEY CLAIMED WAS COLLUSION WITH BIG TOBACCO IN LAYING SIEGE TO THE WINNEBAGO TRIBE’S SOVEREIGNTY BY TRYING TO IMPOSE THE SETTLEMENT MAJOR CIGARETTE COMPANIES HAD REACHED WITH 46 STATES.

DISTRICT JUDGE JOHN M. GERRARD RULED THE STATE CANNOT COLLECT REVENUE FROM TOBACCO SALES ON THE WINNEBAGO RESERVATION UNDER THE LANDMARK 1998 TOBACCO MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, WHICH ALLOCATES A PERCENTAGE OF TOBACCO SALES TO STATE GOVERNMENTS TO OFFSET PUBLIC HEALTH COSTS RELATED TO SMOKING.