Cauvin v. Philip Morris Limited & Ors

The plaintiff alleged that various cigarette manufacturers and distributors in Australia had, since January 1975, conspired together to engage in conduct that was misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive and/or was unconscionable in contravention of the Trade Practices Act. In this case, the plaintiff sought leave to file a further amended statement of claim and to join various international organisations to the proceeding on the basis that they procured their Australian-based related companies to engage in the contravening conduct. The alleged object of the conduct was to promote a false controversy about the relationship between smoking and disease, as part of an "international conspiracy".

Judge Bell found that the plaintiff had failed to articulate a tenable case so as to attach liability to the foreign companies. He therefore rejected the plaintiff's application to join them to the proceeding. His Honour also struck out various parts of the pleading relating to the alleged "international conspiracy" because insufficient facts had been pleaded to support it.

This decision followed a number of earlier procedural decisions relating to defects in the plaintiff's statement of claim (see e.g. Cauvin v Philip Morris Limited [2003] NSWSC 631, where substantial parts of an earlier version of the statement of claim were struck out.). At the time of this decision the plaintiff had served eleven different statements of claim. The defendants therefore argued that the point had been reached where the litigation should be brought to an end. Judge Bell declined to terminate the litigation, affording the plaintiff four weeks to file a further amended statement of claim consistent with these reasons.

(See, further: Cauvin v Philip Morris Limited & Ors [2006] NSWSC 185).


Cauvin v. Philip Morris Limited and Ors [2005] NSWSC 640 (26 August 2005)

  • Australia
  • Aug 26, 2005
  • New South Wales Supreme Court


Plaintiff Myriam Cauvin


  • British American Tobacco Australasia Limited
  • British American Tobacco Australia Services Limited
  • Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited
  • Philip Morris (Australia) Limited
  • Philip Morris Limited
  • W.D. & H.O. Wills Holdings Limited

Legislation Cited

Trade Practices Act 1974

Trade Practices Amendment Act 1977

Trade Practices Revision Act 1986

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product