Two of the tobacco companies the provincial government is suing are trying to get the case dismissed because they say P.E.I. courts don’t have jurisdiction to deal with it.
Earlier this month British American Tobacco and Carreras Rothmans Ltd. filed the motions in P.E.I. Supreme Court.
In September, the provincial government filed a statement of claim against tobacco companies it divided into four related groups, along with the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers’ Council.
The claim alleged a conspiracy to keep knowledge about the harmful and addictive properties of cigarettes from the province and the public.
The government is looking to recover health-care costs from tobacco-related disease dating back to the 1950s, along with estimated costs for health-care benefits that could be expected to result in the future.
In the motions to dismiss, the tobacco companies argued they don’t reside in P.E.I. and they don’t carry on business in the province.
They also argue the alleged conduct in the statement of claim didn’t happen in P.E.I.
It’s not the first time a tobacco lawsuit has seen companies involved argue over who has jurisdiction.
Last year an Ontario court ruled that government had jurisdiction in its own lawsuit and the case was allowed to proceed.