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In 1998, major tobacco companies reached a historic legal settlement with states that had sued them over the health care costs of smoking-related illnesses. But individual smokers have continued to sue, and to this day the tobacco industry remains tied up in hundreds of court fights with sickened smokers, or with family members who lost a loved one to cancer, heart disease, or other smoking-related illness. Professor John Geer, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University, has been consulting on behalf of tobacco companies from 2004 to at least mid-2018, according to court documents. [...]