Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear big-tobacco appeal over health costs

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada says it won’t hear an appeal in a case involving six big foreign tobacco companies trying to get out of a lawsuit over health-related costs.

The Ontario government is seeking to recoup billions of dollars in health-care costs attributed to tobacco-related illness.

The companies argued they were foreign entities and the Ontario courts didn’t have jurisdiction to determine claims against them.

British American Tobacco (Investment) Ltd., B.A.T. Industries PLC, British American Tobacco PLC, Carreras Rothmans Ltd., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International Inc. were turned down by the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The province’s lawsuit stems from a 2009 law that gave Ontario a statutory right to sue manufacturers over tobacco-related health costs.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the appeal.




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Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear big-tobacco appeal over health costs

  1. Great! Now do something about the really BIG costs in health care regarding alcohol. I am quite happy to guesstimate that for every dollar spent on tobacco related health care that easily a thousand is spent on alcohol related health care.

    Did I just notice parliament go very very quiet?

  2. Just for sport, I’ll ask whether the increased health care costs are offset by the reduced pension costs (CPP, OAS, GIS) due to smokers dying earlier than non-smokers?

  3. Is it normal in Canada for courts to hold that foreign companies can be sued? If so, then this decision makes sense. If not, then it would seem to be a criminal misinterpretation of the law for selective discrimination.

    Re the costs of smoking: see my analysis of it at http://TinyURL.com/SmokingCosts and you might be surprised at just how much smokers are paying for the health care of nonsmokers. And that article was written BEFORE all the recent tax increases made the situation even worse. Taxation levels on tobacco go beyond being unreasonable and enter into the realm of the criminal. Heh, a fact that’s not lost at all on the criminals who literally make out like bandits from the smuggling the taxes generate.

    - MJM

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