McTear v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd.

Alfred McTear sued Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL), claiming that his lung cancer was caused by smoking cigarettes manufactured by ITL.  After Mr. McTear’s death, his widow pursued the case.  Mrs. McTear claimed that throughout the period during which her husband smoked, ITL was negligent in selling cigarettes or in selling them without appropriate warnings.  The Court ruled in favor of ITL because the Mrs. McTear could not prove that her husband was not aware of the dangers associated with smoking and thus she had failed to establish the elements necessary for a successful claim.  Significantly, the Court held, among other things, that there is no causal connection between smoking and disease and that “epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case . . . .”


McTear v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd., Outer House, CSOH 69, Court of Session (2005).

  • United Kingdom
  • May 31, 2005
  • Outer House, Court of Session


Plaintiff Margaret McTear

Defendant Imperial Tobacco Ltd.

Legislation Cited

Consumer Protection Act 1987

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product