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Two class actions against tobacco industry get the go-ahead

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 03 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:499
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    Canada's three main tobacco companies will be forced to defend the safety of their products in a class action lawsuit that could be worth more than $C15bn (£6.3bn; £12.1bn; €9.2bn) in claims, as a result of the peculiarity of a Quebec law.

    In a landmark decision Mr Justice Pierre Jasmin has “certified” two class action lawsuits against JTI-Macdonald; Rothmans, Benson & Hedges; and Imperial Tobacco, meaning that, under Quebec law, no appeal is possible and the case must go to trial.

    Bruce Johnston, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said, “It is hard to emphasise how significant this decision is.” …

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