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Tobacco firms to pay billions in damages in Canada

Author: BBC News, Published on: 2 June 2015

A Canadian court has ordered three tobacco companies to pay C$15.5bn (£8bn; $12bn)…The plaintiffs were Quebec smokers who said the firms failed to warn them of health risks associated with smoking…The class-action lawsuits were filed in 1998, but only recently went to trial in the courts. The firms argued that Canadians have had a "high awareness" of smoking health risks since the 1950s…But the plaintiffs argued that the companies did not properly warn their customers and failed in their general duty "not to cause injury to another person", according to the Quebec Superior Court decision…"If the companies are allowed to walk away unscathed now, what would be the message to other industries that today or tomorrow find themselves in a similar moral conflict?"[said Judge Riordan][Refers to Imperial Tobacco Canada, JTI-MacDonald, Rothmans Benson & Hedges (part of Philip Morris International)]

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