Canadian trial provides “opportunity”

| August 21, 2013

After a two-month break, the Blais and Létourneau class actions trial against Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. and other Canadian tobacco companies resumed on Monday in the Quebec Superior Court before Mr. Justice Brian Riordan.

According to an Imperial press note, the case, which is the first of its kind in Canada, is providing Imperial and the industry an opportunity to present their perspectives on issues that had been reported on in the media for many decades.

“Imperial Tobacco Canada will continue its defense by presenting evidence to the court [that], to date, has been largely overlooked or ignored when reporting on the industry in this country,” said Tamara Gitto, vice-president, law and general counsel for Imperial.

The company said it looked forward to responding to the allegations and to shedding light on the parts of the story that had thus far been left out, including the important role of the federal government in the Canadian tobacco industry. For decades, the government had essentially partnered with the industry on many issues central to the case.

The defence would also focus on the extent and magnitude of the decades-long public and government awareness of the health risks associated with smoking.

“We believe that once we have the opportunity to present our defense, a more fair and balanced view of the industry will emerge,” said Gitto.

Monday, according to an Eye on the Trials blog (, was the 157th day of the trial and the 17th day of the defense.

Category: Breaking News

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