Canada's biggest tobacco companies are taking on a group of Quebec smokers in a landmark case with up to $27 billion in damages and penalties at stake.
The trial begins Wednesday in a Montreal courtroom where a number of smokers will argue that companies weren't upfront about the dangers of cigarette use, leading the plaintiffs to addiction and smoking-related illnesses.
Not only is the civil case considered the biggest in Canadian history, but it marks the first time in this country that tobacco companies have gone to trial for a civil suit.
The defendants are Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.; Rothmans, Benson & Hedges; and JTI-Macdonald. All three are expected to argue that customers were well-informed and none of their practices violated government regulations.