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LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) _ Tobacco companies must pay Pennsylvania farmers $11 million under the 1999 Master Settlement Agreement created to compensate states for tobacco-related health care costs, a court has ruled. Even though the companies _ Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. _ are expected to appeal, the ruling is a windfall, for Lancaster County in particular, Lauren Bozart, assistant press secretary for Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, said Tuesday. “As most of the recipients are from Lancaster County, this ruling will have a substantial impact on them,” Bozart said. Lancaster County has about 4,000 acres of tobacco, 90 percent of the tobacco grown in the state. The Master Settlement Agreement included a trust containing so-called Phase II funds, set aside to compensate growers for decreased demand after tobacco companies raised prices of products to cover the cost of the settlement. Jeff Graybill, of the Penn State Cooperative Extension of Lancaster County, said the ruling could affect 50 to 60 Lancaster County growers of burley tobacco used in cigarettes.

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