Ontario v. Rothmans Inc.

The government of Ontario brought an action against various tobacco manufacturers seeking recovery of 50 billion dollars in health care costs that had been or would be paid by the government for treatment of its insureds' diseases or risks of diseases related to tobacco use.  The claim was brought under the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act.  The government alleged that the manufacturers had engaged in an intentional scheme of deception, arguing, among other things, that the manufacturers had been aware of the harmful health effects of cigarette smoke and second-hand smoke for several decades but had suppressed evidence revealing these effects and had purposely misled the public about the health risks of cigarette smoke.  Certain defendants challenged the propriety of the Court's jurisdiction over them, and depositions were taken in an attempt to discern jurisdiction.  In this appeal from a Master's order on a refusals motion, the Court held that the Master erred in several respects when ordering the defendants' deponents to answer certain questions posed by the government, noting, among other things, that these questions were outside of the scope of the instant motion.


Ontario v. Rothmans Inc., 2011 ONSC 2504, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Canada (2011).

  • Canada
  • Apr 26, 2011
  • Ontario Superior Court of Justice


Plaintiff Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario


  • Altria Group, Inc.
  • B.A.T. Industries P.L.C.
  • British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited
  • British American Tobacco p.l.c.
  • Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers' Council
  • Carreras Rothmans Limited
  • Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited
  • JTI-Macdonald Corp.
  • Philip Morris International, Inc.
  • Philip Morris U.S.A. Inc.
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International Inc.
  • Rothmans Inc.
  • Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.

Legislation Cited

Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, 2009

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product