Over 500 Australian smokers file class-action lawsuit
About 500 smokers and former smokers are about to jointly file a class-action lawsuit against the country's three major tobacco companies - Philip Morris, Rothmans and W. D. & H.O. Wills.
In this first lawsuit of its kind in Australia, smokers and ex-smokers are seeking unspecified damages from the tobacco companies for health injuries allegedly caused by smoking. Melbourne law firm, Slater & Gordon, will file the class-action suit in the Federal Court on behalf of the smokers. Mr. Gordon, a consultant with the firm said that the 500 smokers had been diagnosed with a range of illnesses, including lung cancer and emphysema. It is believed that smokers have never previously succeeded in suing the tobacco industry in Australia. This case will mark the country's first attempt to by a group of smokers to hold cigarette makers liable for their customers' poor health.