Monday, 17 October 2016

Five weeks and counting!

There are now only 35 days until the Quebec Court of Appeal hears arguments why it should or should not uphold Justice Riordan's decision that the tobacco industry should pay more than $15 billion in punitive and compensatory damages related to their actions between the mid 1950s and 1998.

Details of the hearing can be found on the"rolls" for the Court's Noember calendar.

The hearing will take place over 5 mornings and afternoons* between Monday November 21 and Friday, November 25, 2016, and will be held in the Salle Louis H. Lafontaine in the Édifice Ernest-Cormier (100, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montreal) .

In comparison with the months and months of trial that were spent at the Superior Court, this will be a very compressed presentation:
  • the tobacco industry 'Appellants' have only 12 hours between them to make their case. Half of those (345 minutes) to to Imperial Tobacco, with a third going to JTI-Macdonald (240 minutes) and a sixth going to Rothmans, Benson and Hedges (120 minutes). 
  • The class-action 'Respondents' have slightly over 7 hours (435 minutes) to present their views .
The 5 judges who will make up the panel are: Justice Yves Marie Morissette, Justice Allan R. Hilton, Justice Marie-France Bich, Justice Nicolas Kasirer and newly-appointed Justice Étienne Parent. Only Justice Parent has not previously participated in earlier Appeal Court reviews of Justice Riordan's management of the case.

Another province, another appeal.

Most of the action (if any) in the provincial litigation efforts is hidden from public view.

An exception to this was a hearing before the Court of Appeal in British Columbia last week, which was attended and reported on by Sunny Dhillon of the Globe and Mail. The B.C. government is still trying to fight back a lower court ruling that it must provide electronic health care records to the defendant companies.

Different types of publication

Over the past few months a few research articles have surfaced which cite the Blais-Létourneau trial or the substance of Justice Riordan's decision. These include papers by: