Can private law litigation serve as a tool for advancing public health objectives? With this contentious and oft-asked question in mind, this text tackles Canada’s recent tobacco litigation. This Article first presents critical commentary regarding various lawsuits waged against Canadian cigarette manufacturers by citizens acting as individuals or as parties to class action lawsuits. We then turn to analyze how Canada’s provincial governments rely on targeted legislation to facilitate private law recourses for recouping the healthcare costs of treating tobacco-related diseases. The authors address challenges to the constitutionality of this type of legislation, as well as attempts by manufacturers to transfer responsibility to the federal government.
Khoury, Lara, Couture-Ménard, Marie-Eve and Redko, Olga, The Role of Private Law in the Control of Risks Associated with Tobacco Smoking: The Canadian Experience (July 3, 2013). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 39, No. 2 & 3, 2013.