Peabody & Arnold LLP attorney Harvey Weiner was co-counsel for the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee in a successful suit to claim residual funds from a class action settlement involving Marlboro Light cigarettes. It was the original proposal that his client receive $383,780 or 5.6% of the $6,783,780 residual fund. On June 9, 2017, after a hearing, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Kenneth W. Salinger awarded the client $3,731,079 or 55% of the fund, an increase of ten times the original allocation. Geanacopoulos v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., Superior Court No. 9884CV06002-BLS1.
The Massachusetts IOLTA Committee collects interest on lawyers’ trust accounts in financial institutions and distributes the funds to two charitable foundations and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, which in turn distributes them to entities that provide civil legal assistance to the needy in areas such as domestic violence and immigration. Harvey Weiner served two three-year terms on the IOLTA Committee and, after his second term expired, was asked by the Chairman to assist in the Geanacopoulos litigation, which involved allegedly deceptive marketing of Marlboro Light cigarettes to consumers. The recent award of over three million dollars to the IOLTA Committee is a significant contribution to legal aid efforts in Massachusetts.