Testimony resumes in CAD 27 bln class-action suit

Imperial Tobacco Canada will spotlight the federal government’s role in developments that led to the CAD 27 billion (EUR 19.5 billion) class-action suit against three major tobacco companies, the company said.

Defence testimony resumed 19 August before Justice Brian Riordan in Quebec Superior Court after a two-month break. The Blais and Létourneau class-action suit stems from two suits initially filed in 1998 seeking compensatory and punitive damages for introducing an addictive product known to cause severe illnesses. In addition to British American Tobacco subsidiary Imperial Canada, the suit seeks damages from Rothmans Benson & Hedge, a Philip Morris International affiliate, and JTI-Macdonald, a unit of Japan Tobacco International.
“Imperial Tobacco Canada looks forward to responding to the allegations and to shedding light on the parts of the story that have thus far been left out including the important role of the federal government in the Canadian tobacco industry, which for decades essentially partnered with the industry on many issues central to the case,” the company said in a statement distributed on CNW commerical news wire. “The defence will also focus on the extent and magnitude of the decades-long public and government awareness of the health risks associated with smoking.”

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