(Quebec) Philip Morris International (PMI) has the means – and a scenario – to fulfill the immediate payment of $ 246 million to victims of tobacco. The multinational marginally reduce the benefit of shareholders for its Canadian subsidiary Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (RBH) pays its share if the verdict is upheld.
The information is contained in a press release, published on July 16, from its US headquarters in New York, the US. The firm echoes the historical judgment which awarded compensation of $ 15 billion to Quebec smokers represented by lawyers of two class actions.
In June the Justice Brian Riordan issued the ruling at the site of three manufacturers of Canada, Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges. He also ordered a trust they place in $ 1.13 billion even if there were objections from the conviction at first instance, which occurred.
In its release, Philip Morris International is back on the case to the unveiling of its quarterly results. The tobacco company said that the share claimed its subsidiary equivalent to US $ 199 million. He recalled that the payment of the first compensation in a compensation fund is also being challenged.
If the Court of Appeal upheld the decision, then the tobacco giant plans to reduce earnings by $ 0.09 per share. Earlier, he announced that forecasts indicate that this profit is expected to range between $ 4.32 and $ 4.42 for 2015, forecasts that do not take into account the outcome of the dispute.
Verdict this month
The Court of Appeal must decide before the end of the month. When they pleaded their case, prosecutors cigarette manufacturers said they feared being put out of business if they had to spend $ 1.13 billion in guaranteed compensation. The statement of Philip Morris International does not refer to this hypothesis.
“It is not new that companies [tobacco] say one thing to the Court and a completely different thing to their shareholders, says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society. At the Court, [RBH] says she can not pay; to shareholders, they say how they will pay. ”
Cunningham maintains that this occurred repeatedly. “In 2000, after the federal government approved regulations to the warnings with photos [on cigarette packets], the companies said it was technically impossible to print it in Canada.
“They asked for an injunction, a stay in Superior Court, says political expert. This was rejected. The impossible became possible and they printed pictures and warnings on packets. “According to him, it happened again in 2009 with another project of Ottawa law” to ban flavors in cigarettes . They said that if that happened, they would close the plant in Rothman’s of Quebec. It did not happen. […] They have no credibility. You can not believe them. ”
According to Riordan judgment, apart from $ 246 million to Rothman’s, Benson Hedges, the first payment is $ 743 million for Imperial Tobacco, whose international headquarters is British Imperial Tobacco. For JTI-MacDonald, controlled by Japan Tobacco International, the total is $ 143 million.