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Canada: Supreme Court Ruling Is Major Defeat for Tobacco Companies


The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the federal government was not liable for damages from health-related lawsuits against tobacco companies, possibly amounting to many billions of dollars. The decision was a major defeat for the tobacco industry, which faces suits from several provinces seeking to recoup health care costs.The industry had argued that the government had allowed and regulated the use of tobacco and should therefore take some of the responsibility. The court disagreed, 9-0. The decision came in a suit by the province of British Columbia against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, Japan Tobacco’s JTI-Macdonald unit, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco Canada.

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