Canadian court orders tobacco firms to pay smokers over €11bn in compensation

Canadian court orders tobacco firms to pay smokers over €11bn in compensation




smoking

In what could be a landmark ruling, a Canadian court of law has ordered tobacco companies to pay up CA$15.5bn (about €11bn) to smokers who claimed the firms never warned them about the health risks posed by smoking.

All major companies, Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald have confirmed that they will appeal the award for moral and punitive damages. Such award is the largest in Canadian history.

The ruling arose from two class action lawsuits filed back in 1998 that only recently went to trial. All the plaintiffs have argued that there was wilful neglect on the tobacco firms’ part to properly warn them of the inherent dangers of smoking, and also “failed in their duty not to cause injury to another person.”

According to the companies, the court’s decision is not supported by evidence presented during the trial, and they expect the ruling to be overturned on appeal.

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