British Columbia doesn’t have to hand over the health care records of tens of millions of sufferers to tobacco firm Philip Morris Worldwide, says Canada’s prime courtroom.
Friday morning’s unanimous Supreme Court resolution clears a hurdle within the province’s quest to sue cigarette firms for billions in health care prices.
Writing for the courtroom, Justice Russell Brown discovered the health care databases Philip Morris was after contained details about people whose privateness the province is obligated to defend.
The ruling is the newest chapter in B.C.’s authorized battle to pressure cigarette makers like Philip Morris to compensate the province for the price of treating tobacco-related sicknesses — a battle that began within the late 1990s.
Philip Morris Worldwide argued it wants entry to people’ health information to defend itself in courtroom.
The province’s attorneys argued that releasing people’ health info — even anonymously — may violate privateness legal guidelines.
B.C. pointed to a provision of their Tobacco Damages and Health Care Prices Restoration Act that particularly covers privateness.
Final yr, the B.C. Court of Enchantment upheld a decrease courtroom’s resolution that agreed with the corporate and dominated that so as to guarantee a good trial, the province wanted to hand over the affected person information.
The Supreme Court disagreed.
B.C. was the primary province to begin the litigation course of, however each different province has since launched related cost-recovery circumstances towards the tobacco trade.
Collectively, they’re looking for about $120 billion.