This class action was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on behalf British Columbians who purchased so-called “light” and “mild” cigarettes sold by Imperial Tobacco.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendant, Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited, engaged in “deceptive trade practices” contrary to the Trade Practices Act in the marketing of its light cigarette brands.
The suit was certified as a class action by the BC Supreme Court to include the following in the class:
Persons who, during the Class Period, purchased the Defendant’s light or mild brands of cigarettes in British Columbia for personal, family or household use. The Defendant’s light and mild brands of cigarettes includes the following brands: Player’s Light, Player’s Light Smooth, Player’s Extra Light, du Maurier Light, du Maurier Extra Light, du Maurier Ultra Light, du Maurier Special Mild, Matinee Extra Mild, Matinee Ultra Mild and Cameo Extra Mild.
The B.C. Court of Appeal affirmed the certification of the lawsuit as a class action but reduced the class period. The class period now starts at May 8, 1997 and runs to the opt out date.
The lawsuit, the first of its kind in Canada, comes in the wake of a $10.1 billion judgment against American tobacco giant, Philip Morris, in a light cigarette class action trial in that country.
The suit was filed by Kenneth Knight of Roberts Creek, British Columbia. He purchased and consumed approximately one and a half packs a day of the Defendant’s light cigarettes for approximately 17 years. Ken is the husband of Heather Mackenzie, the executive director of AirSpace, an advocacy group dedicated to making the tobacco industry a health hazard of the past (www.airspace.bc.ca).
David Klein, lawyer for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit explains,
“The courts exist to protect the public and to punish corporate misconduct. Our clients’ goals in filing this class action are to support Health Canada’s efforts and to hold Imperial Tobacco accountable for its actions.”
If you would like to obtain more information on this proposed class action, please complete the Do You Qualify form and we will contact you to as soon as possible.
“The negotiations were conducted by plaintiffs’ counsel with experience in class proceedings.”
“I am satisfied it is apparent from the material, which is complicated, and, I might say very well organized...”
“Plaintiff’s counsel are senior members of the bar who have extensive experience in personal injury litigation and class actions..”
“Mr. Klein is experienced and able in relation to class proceedings. Over time he has acquired expertise that permits him to make a valuable contribution...”
“The lead class counsel is experienced and has been recognized by the courts in approving settlements in other class actions.”
“Counsel for the plaintiffs in the various jurisdictions appear to be experienced in class proceedings, and to be recognized as skilled litigators.”
“…Plaintiff’s counsel retained the British Columbia law firm of Klein Lawyers to assist in the litigation. That firm has extensive experience...”
“Klein Lawyers is a litigation firm focusing on class actions. The firm is based in Vancouver but also has a Toronto office.”
“The proposed Class Counsel have excellent qualifications…”
“Mr. Klein of Klein Lawyers has over 20 years of experience in the field of class action litigation and has appeared as plaintiffs’ counsel in over 25 certified class actions...”
“Class counsel, Klein Lawyers LLP and Kim Orr Barristers P.C., are highly experienced in class action litigation. Both firms have practiced in the specialized area of class action litigation for over 20 years”
“British Columbia class counsel took on this case on a contingency basis, and faced a real risk of not being paid at all for their services.”
“Class counsel pursued this litigation to completion on their own rather than with a consortium of counsel from various provinces.”
“Klein Lawyers has continuously posted updates about the case on its website during the litigation, and has posted the court decisions...”
“There is little doubt that the lawyers of the firm expended a great deal of time in prosecuting the action, in negotiating a settlement...”
“…Class counsel undertook an extensive communication plan to advise potential class members of the proposed settlement and to advise them of the...”