1st chewing tobacco deal reached

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A smokeless tobacco company has agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a man who died of mouth cancer in what the family's attorney and an expert called the first
wrongful death settlement from chewing tobacco.

Attorney Antonio Ponvert III told The Associated Press on Tuesday that U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. agreed to pay $5 million to the family of Bobby Hill of Canton, N.C.

The company, which makes Copenhagen and Skoal brands and was headquartered in Greenwich, Conn. before it was acquired by Altria last year, confirmed the settlement in a regulatory filing, but
declined further comment.

Mark Gottlieb, director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern School of Law in Boston, believes it's the first case of its kind and predicted more lawsuits involving
smokeless tobacco.
      
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