Statement From Attorney General John Gerretsen On Tobacco Litigation
Ministry of the Attorney General
The Province has achieved a milestone in its efforts to recover past and ongoing health-care costs borne by Ontario taxpayers due to tobacco-related illness.
The Superior Court of Justice rejected an application by a group of seven foreign tobacco companies looking to have Ontario's $50-billion lawsuit against them dismissed on the basis that the Court had no jurisdiction over them.
We are pleased with the Court's decision which paves the way for Ontario's lawsuit to continue.
On September 29, 2009, Ontario launched a $50-billion lawsuit against a group of 14 tobacco companies for health-care costs. Ontario's statement of claim alleges that the defendant tobacco companies:
- knew about the addictiveness of cigarettes and the health damages they caused
- deceived the public by misrepresenting the risks
- failed to warn the public about the dangers of smoking
- promoted cigarettes to children and teens
- did not take all available steps to reduce the risks caused by their products.
Smoking is the number one cause of premature death and illness in Ontario and costs the health-care system $1.6 billion per year. We will continue to vigorously pursue this litigation on behalf of all Ontarians.