Quebec Court of Appeal cancels order to pay in excess of $1 billion
MONTREAL, July 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada welcomes today's unanimous decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal to accept the company's motion to cancel the provisional execution order that would have required three tobacco companies to pay in excess of $1 billion in a $15.6-billion ruling against the tobacco industry.
"Our arguments were heard, and our motion was granted. We knew all along that we had very strong grounds to appeal and today's unanimous decision confirms that there was no legal basis for ordering the provisional execution," said Tamara Gitto, Vice-President Law & General Counsel. "The Superior Court's decision ordering ITCAN to pay $743 million by July 27 was cancelled, which means we do not have to pay any amount while we appeal the overall judgment."
On May 27, 2015, a Quebec judge ordered three major cigarette companies to pay $15.6 billion in what is believed to be Canada's largest class-action lawsuit. Imperial Tobacco Canada was levied 67 per cent of the award ($10.5 billion). The judgment demanded payment of more than $1 billion from the three companies within 60 days, even while appealing the Superior Court's decision.
The next step in the process will see Imperial Tobacco Canada finalize its appeal on the merits and present its arguments before the Quebec Court of Appeal. The company believes it has strong grounds for its appeal and is confident that the eventual outcome will recognize its position.
"We believe the overall judgment rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec in this class action lawsuit fails to consider the majority of the evidence presented and ignores the reality that governments and adult consumers have known about the risks associated with smoking for decades," continued Mrs. Gitto. "It is unjustified to hold legal manufacturers responsible for the personal choices of adult consumers and we will continue to defend our position vigorously as we continue our appeal of the overall judgment," concluded Mrs. Gitto.
SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada
For further information: Kathleen Stelmach, Torchia Communications, Cell: 647-830-0354, Off: 416-341-9929, ext. 227, [email protected]