British patients can sue tobacco companies

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 21 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:571
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent

    Fifty British lung cancer patients are to go ahead with test cases for compensation against tobacco companies, after the appeal court last week lifted a threat which could have stopped the litigation in its tracks.

    The court reassured the plaintiffs' lawyers, who have taken the cases on a no win, no fee basis, that there is no real risk that they might be ordered to pay the companies' costs personally if they lose. The case is the first to clarify the position of lawyers acting under so called conditional fee agreements. Contrary …

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