Govt may get Â£18bn from tobacco industry
A leading American tobacco litigation lawyer will tell the Minister for Health today that the Government potentially has a Â£18bn case against the industry.
Steve Burman will work with Ward & Fitzpatrick solicitors in the States' and individuals' claims against the Irish tobacco industry here.
The cases will be for personal damages and, for the Government, the recovery of healthcare costs.
It could be a coincidence that Mr Burman's visit coincides with High Court action by the tobacco companies here which are seeking the medical records of three smokers who are suing them.
The industry might argue otherwise.
Nonetheless, the US lawyers credentials cannot be argued with.
In the States, he recovered in excess of Â£200bn worth of healthcare costs for state governments from the industry. And he said he is here to do the same for the Irish Government.
Later today, he meets with Health Minister Michael Martin, and if the lawyers projection of a Â£18bn State case is remotely accurate, the Minister will doubtlessly be interested in what he has to say.