On May 27, 2015, the Superior Court of Québec issued a landmark ruling in Létourneau v.JTI-MacDonald Corp., ordering three major tobacco manufacturers to pay several billion dollars in damages.

The Létourneau judgement actually covers two class actions.

The first class action was filed on behalf of persons with lung cancer, throat cancer or emphysema. The judge found that the tobacco manufacturers were liable and awarded moral damages in the amount of $6,858,864,000 solidarily among the defendants.

The second class action was issued in the name of persons who were dependent on nicotine. In that case, the Court also found the defendants liable but it refused to award moral damages because the evidence did not establish with sufficient accuracy the total amount of the claims of the members.

The Court also condemned defendants to pay punitive damages in the aggregate of $1,310,000,000.

This bulletin addresses key findings of the Létourneau judgement, including:

  • Multiple Recourses
  • The Manufacturer's Duty to Warn
  • Advertising and Failure to Disclose Important Facts
  • Solidarity
  • The Liability for Damages under the Québec Charter
  • Liability for Damages Under the Consumer Protection Act
  • Causation
  • Possibility of Shared Liability
  • Prescription
  • Punitive Damages

This information is sure to be helpful and informative to a wide audience, including dangerous product manufacturers across many industries, general counsel for those firms and their clients, and product liability practitioners. To learn more, download Lessons from the Québec Tobacco Ruling for Manufacturers and Product Liability Lawyers.