LANGUAGE

Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors

This was the hearing of the defendants' application for further and better particulars of the plaintiff's statement of claim. The plaintiff alleged that she had contracted lung disease as a result of smoking the defendants' cigarettes in circumstances where the defendants were aware or should have been aware of the health risks posed by smoking and failed to warn the plaintiff of those risks.

The defendants made several allegations about the insufficiency of aspects of the plaintiff's claims. Hedigan J agreed with the defendants in relation to some of their complaints, including that the plaintiff needed to plead the particular "lung disease" that she alleged that she had contracted as a result of smoking the defendants' cigarettes. However, Hedigan J rejected some of the defendants' arguments, including its complaint that the plaintiff had not sufficiently identified the scientific literature available in the relevant period of which the defendants should have been aware. Hedigan J observed that the defendants were probably much better informed than the plaintiff about the public debate surrounding the link between smoking and health risks.

This decision is one of 5 procedural decisions in these proceedings. The plaintiff ultimately discontinued the case. See also: Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors [1996] VicSC 241; Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors [1996] VicSC 563; Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors [1997] VicSC 534; and Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors [1997] VicSC 552.