Trial against Big Tobacco starts in Montreal Monday

March 11, 2012

A groundbreaking trial gets underway in Montreal Monday against three leading tobacco companies which face a $25 billion lawsuit for allegedly failing to adequately warn smokers of the dangers of cigarettes.

Plaintiffs have filed two separate class actions in what is Canada's biggest-ever civilian lawsuit, against Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans Benson & Hedges in the Superior Court of Quebec.

The first class includes 90,000 current and former smokers in Quebec who say they have fallen ill with a range of smoking-related ailments including emphysema and cancer of the throat and larynx, and are seeking $105,000 Canadian per person.

The second suit was filed by 1.8 million current smokers who say they are unable to quit the tobacco habit, and are seeking $10,000 per person.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs accuse the Canadian tobacco companies of hiding research which has established a link between smoking and serious health problems like cancer.

The suit also alleges that tobacco firms in Canada have tried to manipulate the levels of nicotine in their cigarettes, increasing the levels of dangerous tar and have also added certain products such as ammonia.

Mario Bujold, director general of the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health told AFP that one of the witnesses will be Robert Proctor, author of "Golden Holocaust," a book alleging nefarious practices by the US tobacco industry.

Quebec is only one of several Canadian provinces seeking monetary damages from the tobacco manufacturers.

Several provinces, led by British Columbia, are also suing Canada's tobacco companies in hopes of recovering billions of dollars spent by their health insurers to treat the victims of tobacco use.

Explore further: Colombia bans sales of loose cigarettes, tobacco adverts

Related Stories

Colombia bans sales of loose cigarettes, tobacco adverts

July 21, 2011
A ban on sales of loose cigarettes and tobacco advertising went into effect Thursday in Colombia, the health ministry said.

Recommended for you

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Xharlie
not rated yet Mar 12, 2012
I hope they win.

I think a better law-suit would be a class action of non-smokers against tobacco companies, suing for damages caused by second hand smoke. In such a suit, the plaintiffs could honestly claim that they had no choice and were "victims" of the tobacco company's carcinogenic products.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.