LANGUAGE

Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors

This was the hearing of the plaintiff's application to file a sixth further amended statement of claim. She alleged that her lungs had been damaged by the nicotine in cigarettes manufactured by the defendants, and that the defendants had failed to warn her of this risk to her health in circumstances where they knew or should have known about the risk.

In this iteration of the statement of claim the plaintiff had extended the time span in which she alleged she had smoked the defendants' cigarettes. Hedigan J considered that the proposed extended time span would cause the defendants too much prejudice in terms of time and cost - they would have to investigate a substantial amount of literature in the public domain about the health risks of smoking in the relevant time period. Hedigan J also had regard to the fact that the plaintiff would not be able to pay the defendants' costs, and the fact that the proposed extended time span appeared to be only of peripheral relevance to the plaintiff's claim. On that basis, he rejected the proposed amendments.

This decision is the last of 5 procedural decisions in these proceedings. The plaintiff subsequently 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 123; and Cremona v. Philip Morris & Ors [1997] VicSC 534.