New Brunswick - lawsuit against tobacco companies - outside lawyers can be used..


July 22, 2009 - New Brunswick (N.B.) was the second Canadian province (first was British Columbia) to file a lawsuit against tobacco companies to recover health-care costs related to the use of tobacco products. New Brunswick's government announced in December 2006 that it would take legal action against the companies but the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Cost Recovery Act was only proclaimed on March 7, giving the province the legal authority to launch the lawsuit. (N.B. launches lawsuit against tobacco companies, CBCNews.ca, 3/13/2008)

The New Brunswick government has won a preliminary battle in its lawsuit against several big tobacco companies, which were fighting to block a team of outside lawyers from working on the court case. The province is seeking millions of dollars in damages for health-care costs resulting from people smoking, and is suing companies including Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Imperial Tobacco.

New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench Judge Thomas Cyr rejected a preliminary motion filed by 15 tobacco companies named in the lawsuit that sought to remove the team of lawyers representing the province.

The province's legal team consists of private practitioners Philippe J. Eddie and Chris Correia from New Brunswick, as well as the firms Siskinds LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin and Bennett Jones from Ontario, Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman of South Carolina, and Martin & Jones of North Carolina.

The lawyers are seeking unspecified millions in damages. If they're successful, the legal team will divide up to 25 per cent of any financial award or settlement. That contingency-fee arrangement was the problem, according to the tobacco companies. The tobacco industry lawyers argued there was a conflict of interest between the government lawyers' potential private financial gain and their duty to act impartially in the public interest when the province hired them.

Reference: N.B. tobacco lawsuit scores early victory , CBCNews.ca, 7/16/2009.

1 comments:

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July 24, 2009 at 3:02 AM

All over the world there have been numerous lawsuits that have been filed against tobacco companies for health issues smokers are facing.

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