Monday, 4 January 2016

Will they? Won't they? They did.

Some of the loose-threads hanging towards the end of 2015 are being somewhat tied down, now that a couple of court-deadlines have passed. 

In one case, JTI-Macdonald is still trying to stare down the Quebec Legislature's right to set new rules for lawsuits against it. In another, Imperial Tobacco appears to have blinked, and has posted the security deposit required of it, despite earlier threats to try to have the payment suspended.

JTI asks Supreme Court to review Tobacco-related Damages and Health-care Costs Recovery Act. 
Tobacco companies had until November 28 to ask for a review of the Quebec Court of Appeal's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the law which facilitates the Quebec government's lawsuit against them. 

From the paper work posted on the Supreme Court's web-site, it would appear that only one of the companies - JTI-Macdonald - thought it was worth knocking on that court's door, or is at least carrying the can for an effort to have the legislation struck down. Two courts have have already rejected the suggestion that the law is unfair to the defendant companies. Perhaps they hope that the third time's a charm.

(The Supreme Court is not obliged to hear the appeal.)
Money is deposited at the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The sixty day period for Imperial Tobacco or Rothmans, Benson and Hedges to seek leave to appeal the order that they post security payments would, by my calculation, have ended last week. On October 27th, Justice Mark Schrager of the Quebec Court of Appeal laid out a payment schedule for security deposits for the two companies to be posted while their appeal of their penalties in the Quebec class actions works its way through the system. The first of the payments by the two  companies was due on the last "juridical day" of December. 

When the ruling was issued, Imperial Tobacco told investors that it would be "review its options to apply for leave to appeal this decision" and to ask that the order be suspended. 

Perhaps the paperwork has been filed, but is not yet posted on the Supreme Court web-site - but in any event, I have learned that the company deposited the amount required ($108+ million) before last week's deadline.