Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada

Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada

February 22, 2011 11:11 ET

Supreme Court hearing on tobacco litigation

Should the federal government be held partially responsible for the harms of tobacco use?

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2011) - On the morning of Thursday, February 24, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada will begin its review of decisions of the British Columbia Court of Appeal concerning the role of the federal government as "third party" to two ground-breaking trials against tobacco companies.

These cases, with links to the relevant Supreme Court Factums, are:

*the suit brought against the companies by the government of British Columbia to recover the costs of treating tobacco-caused diseases
http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/fac-mem-eng.aspx?cas=33563

*The 'Knight" class action suit against BAT/Imperial Tobacco related to the sale of so-called light cigarettes.
http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/fac-mem-eng.aspx?cas=33559

In December 2009, the B.C. Court of Appeal had partially supported the industry's view that the federal government could be brought into its defense in both the B.C. government and Knight cases. This decision was appealed by both parties.

The companies have made similar efforts to engage the federal government in other current tobacco litigation, and the Supreme Court decision is expected to affect other provincial efforts to sue the companies. Because of Quebec's different legal system, the federal government is already party to the two class action suits against the companies in that province.

IN: HEALTH

Contact Information

  • Cynthia Callard, Executive Director, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada
    Primary Phone: 613-233-4878
    Secondary Phone: 613-600-5794
    E-mail: ccallard@smoke-free.ca