Jun 01, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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In a landmark case, a judge has awarded $15 billion to Quebec smokers – in a battle against three Canadian tobacco giants.

Justice Brian Riordan’s decision was made public today – after nearly three years of testimony and six months of deliberations.

Among the plaintiffs were just over one million Quebecers – who argued that the companies were liable because they knew they were putting out a harmful product – and hid the health effects of tobacco.

The class-action suit involved two separate groups of plaintiffs.

Some of them became seriously ill from smoking – and others said they couldn’t quit.

Two of those big tobacco firms : JTI-Macdonald and Imperial Tobacco – have already reacted, and say they’ll appeal the decision.

The industry argued that people knew about the risks of smoking -and that the products were sold legally and with federal government approval.

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