Both longtime smokers who relied on services and programs supported by the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Endowment Fund to quit smoking, brought claims as Ohio smokers, the intended beneficiaries of OTPF.
After the OTPF signed a contract with Legacy to preserve tobacco prevention and cessation efforts in the state, the legislature voted to abolish both OTPF and its endowment.
To ensure that a substantial portion of its recovery was spent specifically on tobacco control, Ohio established OTPF and created an endowment for it.
April 8, 2008: OTPF entered into a contract for this amount ($190 million) with the American Legacy Foundation and provided the state treasurer with instructions to transfer the funds.
April 9, 2008: OTPF filed a lawsuit asserting that the legislation liquidating its endowment violated Ohio constitutional and other legal requirements.
May 6, 2008: Governor Strickland signed into law a second bill, again diverting the OTPF's endowment and, this time, abolishing OTPF.
May 27, 2008: Two Ohio smokers, David Weinmann and Robert Miller, who had taken advantage of OTPF funded programs to quit smoking, filed a second lawsuit, claiming that the state's decision to dissolve the endowment violated their rights as trust beneficiaries.
Week of June 2, 2008: Ohio Department of Health sent notices to OTPF grant recipients informing them that their grants would be cancelled as of July 1, 2008, claiming that the department was taking this action because of the litigation and the freeze.