Philadelphia’s top civil judge has somewhat reticently ordered arbitration in a dispute over the calculation of payments a group of major tobacco companies owes “52 government entities” as part of a late-1990s settlement that addresses recovery of smoking-related health care costs.

The settlement has resulted in more than $300 million per year being added to the Keystone State’s coffers, according to the Pennsylvania chief deputy attorney general representing the state in the litigation. Supervising Judge William J. Manfredi of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court’s Civil Branch wrote that the 52 governmental entities were referred to as “settling states,” although not all were states.

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