Tobacco companies set-aside $1-billion to pay smoking victims

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

A landmark lawsuit won earlier this year has pushed for tobacco companies to compensate victims by setting aside just one -billion-dollars, to start.

The ruling set out by the Quebec Court of Appeal, ordered tobacco companies to pay over 15-billion-dollars to  Quebec smokers.

Imperial Tobacco have to pay over 750-million-dollars, and for Rothmans, Benson and Hedges to put up 226-million-dollars for the first installment.

Payments to smoking victims start in December and is to be paid in quarterly installments till 2017.

The case is believed to be the largest class-action lawsuit in Canada.

There were two different groups of plaintiff, some who became seriously sick from smoking and others were those whom claim they couldn’t quit.

By 2017, Imperial will have paid 67 per cent of of the 15.6 billion-dollars, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges has 20 per cent to cover and JTI-Macdonald will pay the last 13 per cent.

The plaintiffs held the companies responsible for knowing how harmful their product is and hid the health effects of smoking tobacco.

The industries rebuttled that the consumers knew of the risks and was approved with strict regulations from the federal government.

The firms have appealed the ruling, however the case won’t be heard till September, before the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The class-actions began in 1998. This is the first time tobacco companies are forced to pay outside of their companies.

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