The Ontario government has been given the green light to move ahead with a $50-billion lawsuit against a group of major tobacco companies.
Earlier this week, Ontario Superior Justice Barbara Conway dismissed an application by a seven foreign companies that argued the court has no jurisdiction over them.
"We will continue to vigorously pursue this litigation on behalf of all Ontarians," said Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen in a statement Friday.
Ontario launched the lawsuit against 14 tobacco companies in September 2009 to recoup past and present health-care costs related to smoking.
The lawsuit says that since 1955, tobacco companies have been liable for these costs because they knew about the addictiveness and associated health risks of cigarettes.
It also claims the companies misrepresented the risks, did not take steps to reduce them and marketed cigarettes towards children and teens.
None of these allegations have been proven in court.
According to the Ontario government, smoking costs the health-care system $1.6 billion a year and is the leading cause of premature deaths and illness in the province.
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