Philip Morris Brasil, Souza Cruz lawsuit (re Brazil)

Cigarette warning Creative CommonsIn July 1995, the Associação de Defensa da Saúde do Fumante (ADESF; Association for the Defense of Smokers’ health) filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris Brasil and Souza Cruz (part of British American Tobacco) had made misleading statements in their advertising and omitted information they knew about smoking’s harmful effects, resulting in illnesses and death amongst the plaintiffs and their families.  In the lawsuit, filed in São Paulo Civil Court, ADESF sought indemnification for all “smoking consumers” in the country. 

On 7 April 2004, the court ruled that the defendants had failed to show that smoking cigarettes was neither addictive nor harmful to human health.  The court ordered the defendants to pay R$1000 for moral and material damages to every current and former smoker of the defendants’ products in Brazil – a total of R$30 billion (US$ 18.4 billion).  The defendants appealed the decision.  On 12 November 2008, the São Paulo Court of Appeal overturned the lower court’s decision.  The appeals court found that the lower court violated the defendants’ due process rights by not allowing them to produce expert evidence.  The case was sent back to the lower court for further examination of expert evidence.  On 26 May 2011, the Civil Court denied the plaintiffs’ claims, finding that the expert evidence showed that smoking cigarettes is only one of many risk factors for illness and is not the cause itself.  The court held that the lack of warnings in advertising about smoking’s harms created no liability because Brazilian law does not require such warnings.

- “Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers”, Theo Kratz, Bezinga, 27 May 2011
- [Portuguese] “Juíza nega indenização para associação de fumantes”(“Judge rejects compensation for smokers’ association”), Consultor Jurídico, 26 May 2011
- [Portuguese] “Indenização a Fumante” (“Compensation to Smokers”), Jus Brasil, 19 Apr 2010
- “Appeals court reverses ruling”, Tobacco Journal International, 14 Nov 2008
  
- British American Tobacco: Annual Report 2010: 30 Contingent liabilities and financial commitments
- Philip Morris International: Litigation
- Souza Cruz: Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers, 27 May 2011

Court documents:
- [DOC] [Portuguese] ADESF vence novamente a Philip Morris e Souza Cruz [Second Judgment of the Civil Court], 25 May 2011
- [DOC] [Portuguese] Manifestação Laudos [ADESF comments on experts’ reports], ADESF, 18 Oct 2010
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Laudo médico [Medical expert’s report] 24 Feb 2010
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Apelação [Judgment of the Court of Appeal], 12 Nov 2008
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Contra-Razões de Apelação[ADESF’s appeal], ADESF, 12 Aug 2008 
- [Portuguese] A ADESF vence novamente a Philip Morris e Souza Cruz [First Judgment of the Civil Court] 7 Apr 2004

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Article
29 May 2011

The unstoppable march of the tobacco giants: How the industry ruthlessly exploits the developing world - its young, poor and uneducated

Author: Emily Dugan, Independent [UK]

An investigation…reveals that tobacco firms have taken advantage of lax marketing rules in developing countries by aggressively promoting cigarettes to new, young consumers, while using lawyers, lobby groups and carefully selected statistics to bully governments that attempt to quash the industry in the West…In countries such as Nigeria, Ukraine and Brazil, tobacco companies have sponsored club nights or parties aimed at attracting new young users…When countries in these emerging markets try to clamp down on tobacco, the battle often ends up in the court room…Uruguay, for example…became the first in the region to ban smoking in public places and now it wants 80 per cent of every pack of cigarettes to be taken up with health warnings. In response, Philip Morris has sued the government. It is thought that the company will demand at least $2bn in damages if Uruguay loses. [also refers to British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco]

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Article
27 May 2011

Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers

Author: Souza Cruz

The…Civil Court of Sao Paulo denied the claims for indemnification brought by the Association for the Defence of the Health of Smokers (ADESF) in a class action suit filed against cigarette manufacturers Souza Cruz (the Brazilian branch of British American Tobacco…) and Philip Morris Brasil…[A]…medical court expert examination was carried out…, as well as a…court expert analysis of advertising…[T]he judge denied the claims for indemnification based on the proof that "smoking cigarettes is merely a risk factor (probability) of various diseases and is not the necessary cause" and on the fact that "the lack of warnings about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes on packaging and in advertising, when there was no legal requirement for such warnings, creates no liability for the defendants."…

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Article
27 May 2011

Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers

Author: Theo Kratz, Benzinga

The judge of the 19th Civil Court of Sao Paulo denied the claims for indemnification brought by the Association for the Defence of the Health of Smokers in a class action suit filed against cigarette manufacturers Souza Cruz and Philip Morris Brasil that, according to the plaintiff, was evaluated at more than R$ 30 billion (US$ 18.4 billion). This was the first lawsuit seeking indemnification for damages attributed to smoking cigarettes filed in the country. In the suit, filed in 1995, ADESF sought indemnification for all the "smoking consumers" it alleged to represent, based on the argument that manufacturers' advertising had been misleading and abusive.

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Article
+ Português - Hide

Author: Consultor Jurídico

O fumo é mero fator de risco à saúde e a propaganda de cigarro, quando não havia exigência legal restringindo-a, não comporta responsabilização dos fabricantes. Com base nessas premissas, a juíza Fernanda Gomes Camacho, da 19ª Vara Cível de São Paulo, rejeitou pedido de indenização de R$ 30 bilhões feito feito em Ação Coletiva proposta pela Associação de Defesa da Saúde do Fumante (Adesf) contra as fabricas de cigarros Souza Cruz e Philip Morris do Brasil. Cabe recurso.

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Article
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19 April 2010

Indenização a fumante

Author: Jus Brasil

A 4ª Turma do Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) rejeitou recurso apresentado pela Philip Morris Brasil e determinou que a 19ª Vara Civil de São Paulo julgue o mérito da ação movida pela Associação de Defesa da Saúde do Fumante (Adesf) requerendo indenização a fumantes.

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Article
14 November 2008

Appeals court reverses ruling [Brazil]

Author: Tobacco Journal International

In a unanimous decision yesterday, Sao Paulo’s 7th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals vacated , the judgment of the court of 1st instance that had found in favour of the indemnification claim brought by the Association for the Defense of the Health of Smokers ("ADESF") against the Brazilian cigarette manufacturers Souza Cruz, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, and Philip Morris Brasil,a subsidiary of Philip Morris International. ADESF sought indemnification for "all the consumers of defendant's products" for moral and material damages attributed to tobacco, in addition to having the manufacturers include in their packaging the warning already imposed by the ministry of health in 1999.

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Lawsuit
28 August 2001

Philip Morris Brasil, Souza Cruz lawsuit (re Brazil)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In July 1995, the Associação de Defensa da Saúde do Fumante (ADESF; Association for the Defense of Smokers’ health) filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris Brasil and Souza Cruz (part of British American Tobacco) had made misleading statements in their advertising and omitted information they knew about smoking’s harmful effects, resulting in illnesses and death amongst the plaintiffs and their families.  In the lawsuit, filed in São Paulo Civil Court, ADESF sought indemnification for all “smoking consumers” in the country. 

On 7 April 2004, the court ruled that the defendants had failed to show that smoking cigarettes was neither addictive nor harmful to human health.  The court ordered the defendants to pay R$1000 for moral and material damages to every current and former smoker of the defendants’ products in Brazil – a total of R$30 billion (US$ 18.4 billion).  The defendants appealed the decision.  On 12 November 2008, the São Paulo Court of Appeal overturned the lower court’s decision.  The appeals court found that the lower court violated the defendants’ due process rights by not allowing them to produce expert evidence.  The case was sent back to the lower court for further examination of expert evidence.  On 26 May 2011, the Civil Court denied the plaintiffs’ claims, finding that the expert evidence showed that smoking cigarettes is only one of many risk factors for illness and is not the cause itself.  The court held that the lack of warnings in advertising about smoking’s harms created no liability because Brazilian law does not require such warnings.

- “Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers”, Theo Kratz, Bezinga, 27 May 2011
- [Portuguese] “Juíza nega indenização para associação de fumantes”(“Judge rejects compensation for smokers’ association”), Consultor Jurídico, 26 May 2011
- [Portuguese] “Indenização a Fumante” (“Compensation to Smokers”), Jus Brasil, 19 Apr 2010
- “Appeals court reverses ruling”, Tobacco Journal International, 14 Nov 2008
 
- British American Tobacco: Annual Report 2010: 30 Contingent liabilities and financial commitments
- Philip Morris International: Litigation
- Souza Cruz: Brazilian Court Rejects Main Class Action Filed Against Cigarette Manufacturers, 27 May 2011

Court documents:
- [DOC] [Portuguese] ADESF vence novamente a Philip Morris e Souza Cruz [Second Judgment of the Civil Court], 25 May 2011
- [DOC] [Portuguese] Manifestação Laudos [ADESF comments on experts’ reports], ADESF, 18 Oct 2010
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Laudo médico [Medical expert’s report] 24 Feb 2010
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Apelação [Judgment of the Court of Appeal], 12 Nov 2008
- [PDF] [Portuguese] Contra-Razões de Apelação [ADESF’s appeal], ADESF, 12 Aug 2008
- [Portuguese] A ADESF vence novamente a Philip Morris e Souza Cruz [First Judgment of the Civil Court] 7 Apr 2004