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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Part 2 – Seeing the The Global Mosaic of Tobacco Litigation – Professor Richard L. Cupp,

Part 1 of this line of posts provides an introduction to a valuable resource for seeing the global tobacco litigation mosaic. The resource is a recent law review: “International Tobacco Litigation’s Evolution as a United States Torts Law Export: To Canada and Beyond?” ("ITL"). Written by Richard L. Cupp, Jr., a Pepperdine law professor and tort scholar, the ITL article is freely available on this page of SSRN, and was last updated February 13, 2011. Professor Cupp’s article begins with a broad survey of tobacco litigation, and then moves to some specific examples of and issues in ITL.

Today’s post highlights one of the specific topics described by Professor Cupp: tobacco cost recovery litigation by provincial governments in Canada. The litigation apparently is going well for the plaintiffs, and provides a possible model for cost recovery litigation in other nations, and against other groups of defendants. ITL describes in some detail a cornerstone of the litigation – provincial statutes which provide for and govern the litigation. One of the novel statutes was upheld against a constitutional challenge by big tobacco in an opinion titled British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada, Ltd., 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473. The decision is here. (Also, fyi, here is a Canadian Supreme Court decision on tobacco advertising legislation).

Professor Cupp’s article provides significant analysis of the statutes, the ruling and related points. The article provides good reading for people interested in thinking about new possibilities. New thinking seems needed when one considers that we collectively pay the devastating human and financial prices for legislative failure to control the business of selling carcinogens intended for human ingestion.

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