Canadian Cancer Society applauds decision allowing British American Tobacco and other foreign companies to be held to account

Canadian Cancer Society applauds decision allowing British American Tobacco 
and other foreign companies to be held to account 
Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear appeal by foreign tobacco companies in 
Ontario medicare cost recovery lawsuit 
TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Supreme Court of Canada today refused to 
hear an appeal by foreign tobacco companies seeking to be removed as 
defendants in Ontario's$50 billion medicare cost recovery lawsuit against the 
tobacco industry. The foreign companies were attempting to overturn a May 30, 
2013, judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal that had dismissed their motion 
to be removed from the lawsuit. 
"This decision is significant in terms of a victory for the Ontario government 
and a defeat for the tobacco industry," says Rob Cunningham, lawyer and Senior 
Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. "Foreign parent tobacco companies 
such as British American Tobacco must be held to account before the courts for 
their role in causing an epidemic of disease and death." 
"It is essential that these giant foreign parent tobacco companies be 
defendants," adds Cunningham. "The companies have internal documents that 
provide valuable evidence of what tobacco companies knew regarding the effects 
of tobacco use on health, and when they knew it. The companies also have very 
deep pockets that would allow the Ontario Government to collect far more in 
damages than could be obtained from the Canadian subsidiaries alone." 
Today's judgment continues a trend. Courts in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, 
Quebec and New Brunswick have also rejected attempts by foreign companies to 
be removed as defendants. In the British Columbia and New Brunswick cases, the 
Supreme Court of Canada also refused to hear appeals sought by the tobacco 
industry. In Saskatchewan, the Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the tobacco 
industry motion. In Quebec, the Quebec Superior Court dismissed the tobacco 
industry motion, and the Quebec Court of Appeal refused to hear an appeal. 
The main issue at stake in the medicare cost recovery lawsuit is if the 
tobacco industry will be held liable to pay damages for tobacco-related health 
care costs. A trial date for this lawsuit has not been set in Ontario or other 
In addition to today's legal victory, the government recently introduced Bill 
131, which will ban flavoured tobacco products, require patios to be 
smoke-free, prohibit tobacco sales on university/college campuses, and 
implement other measures in Ontario. 
"We applaud the Ontario Government not only for its ongoing medicare cost 
recovery lawsuit but also for bringing forward strengthened amendments to the 
Smoke-free Ontario Act," says Rowena Pinto, VP, Public Affairs, Canadian 
Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "On the momentum of this important step 
forward on cost recovery, we urge all political parties to support adoption as 
soon as possible of this important bill to reduce youth smoking." 
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of 
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of 
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more 
about cancer, visit our website, or call our toll-free, 
bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

SOURCE  Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division) 
Media contacts: 
Rob Cunningham Senior Policy Analyst Canadian Cancer Society 613-565-2522 ext. 
Christine Koserski Communications Specialist Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario 
Division 416-323-7030   
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CO: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
ST: Ontario
-0- Dec/19/2013 16:13 GMT
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