British Columbia initially filed the suit in 2001 to collect billions of dollars in health costs for patients suffering from smoking-related diseases, the news agency said. The court said there was no issue of privacy rights as the information was anonymous. “Trial fairness requires production of the databases,” the ruling reportedly says. “To find otherwise would tip the playing field unfairly in the province’s favour.”
Some of the other tobacco companies named in the suit are Imperial Tobacco Canada, RJ Reynolds Tobacco and Rothmans Benson & Hedges, the Canadian Press said.