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Tobacco firms ordered to pay smokers $12.4 bn

Posted in Canada, Featured, Talking Politics

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Published on June 05, 2015 with No Comments

Companies failed to issue warnings; it’s highest such award in Canada

A Canadian court has ordered tobacco firms to pay Can$15.5 billion to smokers in Quebec who claimed they were never warned about the health risks associated with smoking. Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald said they would appeal the award for moral and punitive damages, which is the largest in Canadian history.The two class action lawsuits behind the award were originally filed in 1998, but only went to trial recently. At a televised press conference, the wife of a deceased smoker showed a photo of her husband appearing gaunt and frail in his final years due to a smoking-related illness.The plaintiffs argued in court that the tobacco 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“.In his ruling, Judge Brian Riordan noted that “over the nearly 50 years of the class period, and in the 17 years since, the companies earned billions of dollars at the expense of the lungs, the throats and the general well-being of their customers.

 

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