Multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Big Tobacco now in judge’s hands
A class-action lawsuit against three Canadian tobacco manufacturers for almost $20 billion has finally ended after almost three years.
On Thursday in Montreal, closing arguments finished for the trial that began in March 2012, with Justice Brian Riordan of the Quebec Superior Court taking the case under deliberation.
The suit’s plaintiffs, an estimated one million Quebecers, argue the tobacco companies are liable because they knew they were putting out a harmful product and hid the health effects of said products.
The plaintiffs range from some who became deathly ill from smoking to others who say they can not quit.
Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., and JTI-Macdonald., — the defendants — argue the dangerous health effects of tobacco have been common knowledge for decades and that there was no conspiracy to conceal anything.
Should tobacco manufacturers pay up for creating a knowingly harmful product? If tobacco companies are made to pay up, will this set a dangerous precedent? Should junk food makers be made to pay billions because of the unhealthy food they’ve produced and marketed?