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Canadian tobacco firms are ordered to pay £8bn for damage from smoking

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3077 (Published 04 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3077
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Canada’s three major tobacco firms suffered a heavy defeat when the Quebec Superior Court awarded $C15.6bn (£8bn; €11bn; $US13bn) to smokers in what could be a forerunner of further awards in other provinces.

The country’s biggest and longest running class action suit involved a million current, former, and deceased smokers, of whom 99 957 had contracted serious smoking related diseases and sought punitive damages. Their cases were represented by the suit of Jean-Yves Blais, who died from lung cancer in 2012. A further 918 218 sued for addiction, represented by the suit of Cécilia Létourneau. Both suits were filed 17 years ago.

The defendants, Imperial Tobacco Canada, JTI-Macdonald, and …

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