Court of Appeal of Quebec confirms $14 billion damages award against Canadian tobacco industry giants

Kugler Kandestin, who is handling, in collaboration with two other law firms, two Class Actions filed in 1998 against Canada’s three largest tobacco manufacturers, Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd (“ITL”), Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc. (“RBH”), and JTI-McDonald Corp. (“JTI”), is pleased to announce that on March 1, 2019, 5 judges of the Court of Appeal of Quebec rendered a landmark judgment of nearly $14 billion confirming the equally historic judgment of the Superior Court of Quebec (per Justice Brian Riordan) concluding that the Canadian tobacco industry (ITL, RBH and JTI) lied, concealed the truth, and minimized and systematically trivialized tobacco-related dangers for over 50 years.

The Court of Appeal confirmed that the tobacco companies collectively developed a program of disinformation geared towards undermining any information that was contrary to their interests. They thus intentionally and in bad faith maintained false scientific controversies and developed misleading advertising strategies in order to lie to the public.

As a result, the 100,000 Quebec victims targeted by the CQTS-Blais Class Action who were diagnosed with lung cancer, throat cancer, or emphysema are eligible for compensation.

The Court of Appeal also recognized Cécilia Létourneau’s cause of action, as Class Representative on behalf of the one million people who are addicted to cigarettes. Indeed, the Court of Appeal confirmed that cigarettes are a product with no real benefits except to satisfy the addiction that they create.

This is the largest damages award ever granted in Canada.

Tobacco victims or their estates who believe that they are entitled to compensation in these Class Actions are invited to register online at

To read the Court of Appeal’s decision, click here.