Attorney-General for the State of Victoria v. Clemens

David Clemens (formerly Lindsey) had previously been declared a vexatious litigant, which meant that he was barred from bringing proceedings in Victoria without leave. Mr Clemens had brought numerous proceedings against various defendants seeking damages for personal injury from smoking cigarettes (among other things).

In a previous decision, Hansen J granted leave for Mr Clemens to bring this proceeding against Philip Morris (Australia) Limited ("PMAL"). Mr Clemens had previously lost a trial by jury against Philip Morris Limited (PML) alleging that it had failed to warn him of the harms of smoking. This case was brought against a different corporate entity - PMAL - and alleged negligence based on its failure to remove nicotine from its cigarettes and for including toxic ingredients.

In this decision, Hansen J allowed PMAL's application to set aside the earlier decision allowing Mr Clemens to bring the claim, on the basis that it was foredoomed to fail and would be an abuse of process. Hansen J found that PMAL was not the relevant manufacturer of cigarettes during the period of time that Mr Clemens alleged it had been negligent.


Attorney-General for the State of Victoria [2008] VSC 370 (23 September 2008)

  • Australia
  • Sep 23, 2008
  • Supreme Court of Victoria, Common Law Division


Plaintiff Attorney-General for the State of Victoria

Defendant David James Clemens (formerly Lindsay)

Third Party

  • Philip Morris (Australia) Limited

Legislation Cited

Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic)

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product