MONTREAL – Three major tobacco firms are appealing a landmark $15 billion Superior Court ruling they lost in June 2015.
Lawyers for Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans-Benson & Hedges began arguments today during hearings that are expected to last until the end of the week.
The companies were targeted by two separate lawsuits heard at the same time that were filed in 1998 and only went to trial in 2012.
They were sued by people who were addicted to cigarettes and couldn’t quit as well as by those who had suffered from cancer or emphysema.
Some 76 witnesses testified and nearly 43,000 documents were deposited as evidence, including internal tobacco company documents that showed smokers didn’t know or understand the risks associated with cigarettes.
Cigarette companies argued their customers knew the risks of smoking and that their products were sold legally and were strictly regulated by the federal government.
The same cigarette companies are also being sued by the Quebec government in a $60-billion lawsuit aiming to recover health care costs related to smokers.