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Sick And Dying Smokers In Quebec Class-Action Suit May Not See A Dime

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Today, it's well-known that smoking can cause serious injury to health. There are graphic images of diseased lungs on cigarette packages to drive the point home.

That wasn't the case decades ago. Many people started smoking, and became addicted to nicotine, when they had no idea of how harmful it could be.

The cigarette companies became aware that it was harmful in the early 1950s. They were legally liable due to failing to warn consumers that their product was dangerous. Indeed, they tried to discredit the scientists who were warning of the danger.

Those were the findings of a judge in a Quebec class-action trial, concluded in 2015 after 250 days of hearings and dozens of expert witnesses. The group was awarded $15 billion in damages. That sounds like a lot of money, but only allows up to $100,000 for each person with lung cancer — hardly a huge amount for such a severe condition.

In March of 2019, the Quebec Court of Appeal confirmed that decision. Within days of the Quebec ruling, the three major Canadian cigarette manufacturers came before an Ontario judge and obtained protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

The CCAA is aimed at helping insolvent companies reorganize their affairs to avert full-fledged bankruptcy. During CCAA protection, the Quebec consumers represented by the class-action cannot try to collect any money.

The Canadian cigarette companies are........

© HuffPost