The North Carolina State Supreme Court issued a ruling that could provide a boost to tobacco growers. The high court has ruled that cigarette makers must continue making payments to tobacco farmers in 14 states as required by a landmark 1998 settlement. The ruling reverses a lower court that said the tobacco-quota buyout approved by Congress last year overruled the requirement. The cigarette makers have paid millions of dollars in the payments to compensate tobacco growers for losses they were expected to suffer under higher cigarette prices resulting from the settlement agreement to a lawsuit between Big Tobacco and the states.
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