Court backs Ontario's $50B lawsuit against tobacco
Published Friday, January 6, 2012 8:55AM EST
Tobacco companies at the centre of a $50-billion lawsuit by the Ontario government had their hopes dashed on Friday when a judge dismissed their bid to have the case dropped.
The Superior Court of Justice rejected the application made by a group of seven foreign tobacco companies. The companies had argued that the court had no jurisdiction over them.
The court decision means the Ontario lawsuit will proceed. The province's statement of claim alleges that the defendant tobacco companies knew about the addictiveness of cigarettes and the health damage they caused but deceived the public by misrepresenting the risks.
The lawsuit also alleges that the companies failed to warn the public about the dangers of smoking and promoted cigarettes to children and teens.
"We are pleased with the Court's decision which paves the way for Ontario's lawsuit to continue," Attorney General John Gerretsen said in a statement.
CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss is following the case. Follow him on Twitter at @BlissBlogs.