One side says a Miami research institute is misusing a $300 million settlement fund. The other side, which helped create the institute, says the charge amounts to nothing more than an attempted money grab.

At issue is the financial backing for the Flight Attendants Medical Research Foundation, which was funded from a $349 million tobacco industry settlement in 1998. It ended a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of nonsmoking flight attendants who blame illnesses on secondhand smoke in aircraft cabins in the days before in-flight smoking was banned.

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