Tags: Canada | tobacco | court | damages | smokers

Canadian Smokers Win $12.4B Judgment Against Tobacco Firms

Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 06:38 AM

A Canadian court ordered tobacco firms to pay $15.5 billion in Canadian dollars to smokers in Quebec who claimed they were never warned about health risks linked to smoking.

Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald said they would appeal the award — worth about U.S. $12.4 billion — that was awarded Monday for moral and punitive damages, and is the largest such award in Canadian history.

The two class-action lawsuits were originally filed in 1998, but only went to trial recently. They represent nearly one million smokers who were unable to quit or who suffer from throat or lung cancer, or emphysema.

The plaintiffs argued that the companies neglected to properly warn their customers about the dangers of smoking, and failed in their general duty "not to cause injury to another person," according to the Quebec Superior Court decision.

They also accused the firms of unscrupulous marketing and of destroyed documents relevant to the case.

The companies said the court's decision is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, and vowed to try to overturn it on appeal.

"Since the 1950s, Canadians have had a very high awareness of the health risks of smoking," JTI-Macdonald said in a statement.

"That awareness has been reinforced by the health warnings printed on every legal cigarette package for more than 40 years."

© AFP 2017

   
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A Canadian court ordered tobacco firms to pay $15.5 billion in Canadian dollars (U.S. $12.4 billion) to smokers in Quebec who claimed they were never warned about health risks linked to smoking. An appeal is likely.
Canada, tobacco, court, damages, smokers
221
2015-38-02
Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 06:38 AM
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