November 14, 2008
Brazil Vacates Tobacco Award
A press release by Souza Cruz, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, indicates that a Sao Paulo Court of Appeals vacated an award against Souza Cruz and Philip Morris Brasil, a subsidiary of Philip Morris International. Here's an excerpt:
The 7th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals of the State of Sao Paulo vacated yesterday, by unanimous vote, the judgment of the court of 1st instance that had found in favor of the indemnification claim brought by the Association for the Defense of the Health of Smokers ("ADESF") against the Brazilian cigarette manufacturers Souza Cruz (a subsidiary of British American Tobacco) and Philip Morris Brasil (a subsidiary of Philip Morris International). The Court of Appeals granted the appeals of the manufactures on grounds that the lower civil court decision had violated the constitutional principle of due process of law since it had failed to extend to the manufacturers the opportunity of producing any evidence, including expert evidence that had already been ordered by the Court of Appeals itself.
. . .The main reasoning of the Brazilian Courts for rejecting this type of claim is: consumers have free will to decide (or not) to smoke, since the decision to consume the product or not is a question of free choice, the widespread public knowledge of the diseases associated with cigarette consumption and the absence of defect in the product because it is a product of inherent risk, the manufacture, distribution and sale of which in Brazil is authorized and subject to severe regulations by the State.
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