Ragoonanan Estate v.
Imperial Tobacco Ltd.

 

January 18, 1998:
Phillip Ragoonanan, 16,  Jasmine Ragoonanan, 3,  Ranuka Baboolal, 15, die in a house fire in Mississauga, Ontario

January 11, 2000
Davina Ragoonanan, mother of Jasmine and sister of Philip files a claim against Imperial Tobacco Canada, Ltd., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-Macdonald as a class action.  The suit claimed that the fire would not have happened if the tobacco companies had made their cigarettes fire-safe.

December 5, 2000
Justice Peter Cumming of the Ontario Superior Court removes Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald from the action.

March 9, 2005
Ontario Superior Court Judge Cullity rejects Imperial Tobacco's request to stop the trial.

October 31, 2005.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Cullity denies certification of case as a class action.

April 4, 2008
Ontario Divisional court rejects appeal of Cullity's ruling Superior Court Judge Cullity denies certification of case as a class action.

 


Media Coverage


 

Three die in fire; [Final Edition]

The Canadian Press. Calgary Herald. Calgary, Alta.: Jan 19, 1998. pg. A.3

Two teenagers and a small child were killed Sunday in an early morning house fire in this city west of Toronto.

Firefighters arrived to find a townhouse engulfed in flames, police said.

Peel Regional police said a man and woman, both 23, and their two- year-old son were able to escape the flames by jumping out of a third-floor bedroom window.

They were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Inside the gutted home, firefighters located the bodies of the woman's brother Phillip Ragoonanan, 16, her daughter Jasmine Ragoonanan, 3, and Ranuka Baboolal, 15, of Mississauga.

The fire forced the evacuation of several neighboring units and sent two firefighters to hospital with smoke inhalation.

 

Cigarette makers hauled into court.

The National - CBC Television. Toronto: Jan 11, 2000.

GUEST: LESLIE MacKINNON, Reporter; DAVINA RAGOONANAN, Woman filing the suit; ALLAN SPEED, Toronto Fire Chief; DAVID SWEANOR, Non-smokers Rights Assn.; DOUG LENNOX, Ragoonanan's lawyer

PETER MANSBRIDGE: Cigarette makers in this country are being hauled into court again. But this time it's not over the health risks linked to smoking. Rather it's over how cigarettes burn. A woman in Toronto blames a smouldering cigarette for a fire that killed three children. And she's now launched a suit, claiming the tobacco giants can easily prevent such fires. Fires that kill as many as 100 Canadians a year. The CBCs Leslie MacKinnon reports.

LESLIE MacKINNON: This is just an exercise but these kinds of fires caused by smouldering cigarettes are the leading cause of fire deaths in Canada and the United States. And many of the victims are children.

DAVINA RAGOONANAN / WOMAN FILING THE SUIT: The smoke was so horrible. You couldn't see or breath or anything.

MacKINNON: Davina Ragoonanan survived a horrendous townhouse fire in Scarborough two years ago.

RAGOONANAN: She died three days before she would have turned four.

MacKINNON: It killed three children: her daughter Jasmine, her 16-year-old brother Phillip and his 15-year-old friend Renuka. Today she and her husband filed suit against Canada's three major tobacco companies. They'll ask a judge to certify the case as a class action suit. Involving anyone in Canada killed or damaged by cigarette fires.

RAGOONANAN: I'd like to know why it's not being regulated. Why the government hasn't pushed them to change it. Why innocent people are being hurt and killed over something that could have been changed years ago.

MacKINNON: In the U.S, a Congressional Safety Committee has established that a fire-proof cigarette could be developed cheaply. This video shows how an experimental fire-safe cigarette, one that's thinner and less dense and porous, does not burn when left near fabric compared to a marbourough cigarette. The tobacco industry has never put such a cigarette on the market. This year an alarmingly high number of fatal fires in Ontario has fire officials calling for legislation for a fire-safe cigarette.

ALLAN SPEED / TORONTO FIRE CHIEF: And if we can have something like that on the market then we can very confidently say were going to cut down our fires dramatically.

DAVID SWEANOR / NON-SMOKERS RIGHTS ASSN.: The tobacco companies have known about this problem for a very long time. They've not taken action on it. Their failure to take action on it appears to have led to many hundreds of fatal fires.

MacKINNON: Davina Ragoonanan's lawyer says if the Canadian tobacco industry immediately committed to making a safer cigarette, he'd back away.

DOUG LENNOX / RAGOONANAN'S LAWYER: I'm willing to make a deal right now and you know, waive any claim for punitive damages, you know make this short and sweet. I just want to save lives.

RAGOONANAN: What they've taken from me, I'm never going to have, you know. She was my baby.

MacKINNON: The big three Canadian tobacco companies did not comment on this lawsuit today. But today in the United States the American tobacco giant Phillip Morris announced it will start market research on cigarette paper less likely to ignite in fabric. A product it admits has been in development in its labs for years. Leslie MacKinnon, CBC News, Toronto.

Copyright Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2000 All Rights Reserved.

Indexing (document details) Classification Codes 9172 Canada Document types: Broadcast transcript Publication title: The National - CBC Television. Toronto: Jan 11, 2000. Source type: Transcript ProQuest document ID: 439541781 Text Word Count 562

[Tobacco lawsuit wants companies to make cigarette paper safer]

TORONTO (CP) - The mother of two children who were killed in a house fire blamed on a smouldering cigarette is suing Canada's tobacco companies, claiming they could make cigarette paper safer, CBC-TV's The National reported Tuesday.

The fire in Toronto in 1998 claimed the lives of Ravena Ragoonanan's two children, a daughter Jasmine, 3, Philip, 16, and his 15-year-old friend.

Ragoonanan and her husband filed a suit against Canada's three cigarette companies on Tuesday in their first step in organizing a class-action suit involving anyone in the country killed or injured by fires caused by cigarettes.

"I would like to know why it's not be regulated, why the government hasn't taken steps to change it?" Ravena Ragoonanan said of cigarette paper.

"Why innocent people are being hurt or killed over something that could be changed years ago."

A U.S. Congressional safety committee has said a cigarette which does not ignite fabric when left burning could be developed.

Fire department officials in Ontario have also called for a fire-proof cigarette in the wake of a number of fires in the province that have been blamed on cigarettes.

"Tobacco companies have known about this problem for a very long time," Doug Lennox, the Ragoonanans lawyer told the CBC.

"They have not taken action on it. Their failure to take action on it appears to have lead to many, many hundreds of fatal fires."

The cigarette companies did not comment on the suit.

Indexing (document details) Subjects: Fire protection, Cigarettes, Production, Tobacco industry, Litigation Classification Codes 9172 People: Ragoonanan, Ravena Publication title: Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto: Jan 11, 2000. Source type: Periodical ProQuest document ID: 385258751 Text Word Count 241

 

Family Victimized by House Fire to Sue Tobacco Companies Canada AM - CTV Television.
Toronto:Jan 13, 2000. ***[insert pages]***

PRINGLE: A Toronto woman has launched the first of its kind in lawsuits in Canada against three tobacco companies. Two years ago, January 1998, Davina Ragoonanan's three-year-old daughter, her 16-year-old brother, and his friend were killed when their house caught fire. The blaze started after her brother Phillip had fallen asleep on a couch while smoking. Davina would like to force the tobacco companies into making a fire-safe cigarette, which is eminently possible, we're told.

And Davina Ragoonanan is with us now. Also in Ottawa: Emile Therien who's president of the Canadian Safety Council.

Why did you decide to go this distance? I mean a huge responsibility to take on to launch a suit against the tobacco companies.

RAGOONANAN: We decided to go ahead with this because I think the Canadian public needs to know that we're being deprived of this. And it's available.

PRINGLE: How did you know it was?

RAGOONANAN: It was brought to our attention late in the end of 1999, October/November. And after reading the documents and the research and the studies that were done we just found it shocking that the tobacco companies knew how to do this and in fact made these cigarettes and test-marketed it in 1987.

PRINGLE: Emile, how long is the fire-safe cigarette been around?

THERIEN: Well, the initial studies go back to 1982 in the United States. The Congress enacted the Cigarette Fire Safety Act. That was really the thing that spurred a lot of study and a lot of work into fire-safe cigarettes.

PRINGLE: Well, I think we've got some visuals -- I think maybe people have seen this in the news -- of the example of the cigarette that doesn't catch fire. How does it work, Emile? Can you just explain that?

THERIEN: There's basically four characteristics. There are four properties to fire-safe cigarettes. First of all, the porosity of the paper, the length of the filter, the circumference of the cigarette and the density of the tobacco. And really basically we're not talking rocket science here. A self-extinguishing cigarette really should extinguish, based on the amount of inhaling or what we call puffing on that cigarette. It should extinguish within a very, very short period of time after not puffing or smoking it.

PRINGLE: Now, Davina, this is no small challenge. I mean the tobacco companies have a lot of money and even though they've been under a huge amount of pressure with different lawsuits lately in Canada and the US, I mean --

RAGOONANAN: We're hoping that with the education and the awareness that's being brought out to the public that people will start pushing and saying that this is what we want and we won't be alone in this fight and that other people will join into our fight.

PRINGLE: Now, you've brought a picture. This is your daughter Jasmine.

RAGOONANAN: Yeah, this is Jasmine.

PRINGLE: She was almost four.

RAGOONANAN: Three days away from being four. And she's two-and- a-half there.

PRINGLE: And your brother.

RAGOONANAN: And this is Phillip. And he's 14 here.

PRINGLE: Now, this is hard because, I mean, the fire was Phillip's fault. He fell asleep smoking a cigarette. He'd lit the cigarette, he was lying on a couch. I mean you got to deal with that too.

RAGOONANAN: Yeah, and we're willing to accept our responsibility for that. But what I'd like to know is when are the tobacco companies going to accept their responsibility and stand up and take responsibility for their actions. He made a mistake, he was 16 years old. And it could have been prevented. And that's what we'd like to do, prevent this from happening to somebody else, someone else losing their children, their family, their home, their property, their lives.

PRINGLE: Because you were upstairs in the bedroom with your husband and --

RAGOONANAN: And our son.

PRINGLE: And your younger child.

RAGOONANAN: Right.

PRINGLE: And your brother and his friend and your daughter were downstairs.

RAGOONANAN: Well, actually my brother's friend and my daughter were sleeping in the bedrooms upstairs and my brother was the only one left downstairs. And we were awoken by my brother's friend Ranuka. She had woken us up and left the room and by the time we got up and out of the bed to get out into the hallway we couldn't get through the house anywhere. We were pretty much stuck in our bedroom. And we had no choice but to jump from the window 20- something feet -- I don't even know how, but it was amazingly high.

PRINGLE: Well, and you've had another daughter since.

RAGOONANAN: We have a seven-week-old baby.

PRINGLE: Congratulations.

RAGOONANAN: Thank you.

PRINGLE: Just to quickly get an answer here, Emile: do you think, I mean all governments, this hasn't happened anywhere in the world yet, do you think a lawsuit will force this or that it's imminent?

THERIEN: I can't comment on the lawsuit but I can tell you that in terms of a reasonable safety counter measure it seems very reasonable. You must understand the coroner's inquest in Toronto in 1995 recommended fire-safe cigarettes. As of yesterday the Toronto fire chief Alan Speed came out strongly in favour of them.

So you put all these things together, the ball is in Allan Rock's, the Minister of Health's court. He has the authority within the Tobacco Act of 1997 to do this. So we would ask him to do it.

PRINGLE: Thank you, Emile. And thanks very much to you [Davina] for coming in.

BOTH: Thank you.

Family rebuilding lives after fire ; Class-action lawsuit challenges tobacco giants over safety:[1 Edition]

Cal Millar. Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.:Jan 17, 2000. p. 1

A couple who escaped from a Brampton townhouse blaze that killed their 3-year-old daughter and two teenagers in 1998 hope no one else will have to go through a similar tragedy.

They have launched a class-action suit and are hoping others will join them to force Canada's tobacco companies to produce a safer cigarette.

Fire officials in Ontario have also called for a fireproof cigarette in the wake of a number of fires in the province that have been blamed on cigarettes.

The townhouse blaze was blamed on a cigarette being smoked by Philip Ragoonanan, 16, who died in the fire.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the same day the couple filed their lawsuit in the Superior Court of Justice, Philip Morris in the United States announced that within six months, it will begin offering a test version of Merit cigarettes - encased with a new type of paper - that will burn cooler than standard smokes, making them less prone to ignite furnishings.

It was 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, 1998, when Ranuka Baboolal, 16, awakened Davina Ragoonanan and her then live-in boyfriend, Ronald Balkarran, to warn them their Bramalea Rd. townhouse was on fire.

Baboolal, a Westwood Secondary School student and Philip's girlfriend, left the room to alert others in the house.

Her body was found huddled with Philip and Davina's daughter, Jasmine, 3, in the little girl's bedroom.

"She saved our lives," Davina Ragoonanan, 25, said of Baboolal in a recent interview.

Since the fire, Ragoonanan and Balkarran have married and seven weeks ago their daughter, Jemaya, was born.

"God blessed us," she said.

Along with their son, Jaden, 4, they have moved into a fourth- floor apartment on Rowntree Rd., in the Kipling and Finch Aves. area, and are working on rebuilding their lives.

Ragoonanan broke three bones in her lower spine and Balkarran received leg and back injuries when they jumped from a third-floor window to escape the flames. Their young son, who was 2 at the time, was thrown from the window by Balkarran and landed on the ground.

"There was no other way we could get out," she said.

Even though her hair caught fire, she had tried to fight her way through flames to reach her daughter's bedroom, but the heat was too intense.

She is still off work from her clerical job, waiting for her injuries to heal.

"It's a daily recovery thing you have to work on," she said. "I can't lift anything. I can't walk for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. I've got metal rods in my back."

Ragoonanan said she wasn't shocked when she learned a cigarette smoked by her brother was responsible for causing the blaze that destroyed her home.

"We knew he was smoking," she said. "It was just hard for us to accept that something so simple - an everyday kind of thing - was responsible."

Ragoonanan said there were three smoke detectors in the house, but they didn't wake her up.

"Ranuka woke us up," she said. "She came into our room and told us there was a fire and we needed to get out."

The couple agreed to bring a legal action against Canada's three cigarette companies after being contacted by Douglas Lennox, a lawyer representing the Non-Smokers Rights Association.

Lennox said the group is hoping anyone who has experienced a loss in a fire due to smoking anywhere in Canada since Oct. 1, 1987, will join the class-action suit, which claims negligence and conspiracy against the tobacco manufacturers. It alleges manufacturers have failed to modify the design of cigarettes to reduce the risk of fatal fires.

He was unable to estimate what the damages could total because of the devastating effect fires blamed on cigarettes have had across Canada. "I don't know any way to calculate the damages.

"This is off the scale."

Lennox said the lawsuit can be settled if the tobacco companies agree to make a safer product.

He said the plaintiffs will also insist the companies make a donation to Sunnybrook hospital's burn unit as part of any settlement.

The case is getting some help from Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, a former research scientist with U. S. tobacco company Brown and Williamson, who blew the whistle on the dangers posed by cigarettes.

He has been hired as a special adviser to the Canadian government, which has launched its own suit against tobacco companies.

Lennox said he will be a key witness if the case goes to trial.

Ragoonanan said if tobacco companies do not settle, she hopes people across Canada will join the civil action.

"I think they should be held responsible," she said.

She said tobacco firms make up one of Canada's biggest industries and she can't understand why the government hasn't insisted they make their product safe.

 

Canadians suing over cigarett-related fires

Barbara Sibbald. Canadian Medical Association. Journal. Ottawa:Jul 11, 2000. Vol. 163, Iss. 1, p. 73 (1 pp.)

Fire-safe cigarettes were invented more than a century ago, but 100 Canadians still die every year in cigarette-related fires. Now, the parents of 3 children who died in such a fire hope to force the government and tobacco manufacturers into action. In January they launched a class-action suit alleging that cigarettes sold by in Canada by Imperial Tobacco Ltd., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., and JTI-MacDonald Inc. are defective because they fail to provide reasonable protection against house fires.

Jasmine Ragoonanan, 3, Philip Ragoonanan, 16, and Ranuka Baboolal, 15, died in a cigarette-related fire at the Ragoonanan home in Brampton, Ont., Jan. 18, 1998. The parents' lawyer, Douglas Lennox, says they aren't making a "money grab. We know [the tobacco companies] have a gazillion lawyers and could tie this up forever and kids will continue to die. Rather than argue about money, we want a safe product"

They also want the tobacco companies to donate money to the burn centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital.

Cigarette-related fires are the leading cause of fire deaths in Canada, accounting for 25% of the total. In addition to the 100 annual deaths, another 300 people are injured.

Lennox has invited Canadians to join the class-action suit if a family member has died in a smoking-related fire since Oct. 1, 1987, the date research made it blatantly obvious that fire-safety features were available for cigarettes.

The federal government has had the authority to issue fire-safe-tobacco regulations since the 1997 Tobacco Act was passed. Health Minister Allan Rock told the Canada Safety Council in 1997 that safe-tobacco regulations would be "a priority activity . . . over the next few years."

"The government hasn't done its job," says Lennox, "so the last remedy is private litigation."

The Canadian lawsuit was launched Jan. 11, 2000, the same day that Philip Morris, the largest US cigarette manufacturer, admitted that it knew how to make a safer cigarette and was going to test market the product in Buffalo. New York State recently approved legislation that requires cigarettes to pass a fire-safety code.

Fire-safe cigarettes either go out quickly when set down or don't generate enough energy to cause a fire. Either way, the safer cigarettes cost the same to manufacture, are no more toxic than other cigarettes and, according to focus group testing, taste the same as conventional cigarettes.

The cigarettes can be manufactured with one or more of the following features: they are thinner, more loosely packed or have less porous paper. Cigarettes are considered fire safe if they will not cause cotton and foam to ignite in more than 90% of tests. The first patent for a fire-safe cigarette was filed in 1889; the US Federal Bureau of Standards developed a fire-safe cigarette in 1929.

Lennox says present-day manufacturers are reluctant to produce fire-safe cigarettes because this could implicate them legally because of previous fires, and because the fire-safe product may remind consumers that smoking also kills in other ways. A 1986 letter from the CEO of British-American Tobacco to the CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, Imasco, which owns Imperial Tobacco Ltd., justified the hesitation this way: "In attempting to develop a `safe' cigarette you are, by implication, in danger of being interpreted as accepting that the current product is `unsafe' and this is not a position I think we should take." - Barbara Sibbald, CMAJ

Tobacco firm loses round in lawsuit over fatal fire Kirk Makin. The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.:Mar 29, 2001. p. A.1

Abstract (Summary) It is arguable that by enhancing the addictive features of the product, they encourage obsessive use that leads to people smoking when they are weary, unwell or likely to fall asleep," he said. "The pertinent issue is whether, notwithstanding the notoriety of the risks of misuse, manufacturers have deliberately designed the product in such a way as to cause misuse." His ruling means that the lawsuit, launched by the [Philip Ragoonanan] and Baboolal families, can move forward to the next pretrial...

Full Text (367 words) All material copyright Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. or its licensors. All rights reserved.

The families of three young people who burned to death in a fire caused by careless smoking have won a major victory against a tobacco company that failed to make a cigarette that puts itself out.

An Ontario judge recently rejected a legal manoeuvre by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. to throw out the survivors' class-action lawsuit on the basis that it lacked sufficient legal grounding.

Mr. Justice Peter Cumming of the Ontario Superior Court said instead that it was plausible to argue that the company sold a product it chose not to make safer.

"It is arguable that by enhancing the addictive features of the product, they encourage obsessive use that leads to people smoking when they are weary, unwell or likely to fall asleep," he said. "The pertinent issue is whether, notwithstanding the notoriety of the risks of misuse, manufacturers have deliberately designed the product in such a way as to cause misuse." His ruling means that the lawsuit, launched by the Ragoonanan and Baboolal families, can move forward to the next pretrial stage: certification as a valid class action, suitable for trial.

Lawyers for Imperial argue that the dangers of smoking in bed are so obvious that lawsuits should be out of the question.

A lawyer for the families, Douglas Lennox, said yesterday that while similar lawsuits have been attempted in many countries, no judge has permitted a case to go forward and provided reasons that can be used as a precedent.

Three-year-old Jasmine Ragoonanan, Ranuka Baboolal, 15, and Philip Ragoonanan, 16, burned to death in the fire at the Ragoonanans' home in Brampton, Ont., Jan. 18, 1998, when Philip fell asleep on a couch while smoking.

Fire-safe cigarettes feature special paper and an arrangement of concentric rings that retard burning. Mr. Lennox said. Tobacco companies don't like them because untended cigarettes that go out can be relit later.

"We hope to show that they value profit over people," he said. "These companies have for decades resisted any product changes."

Imperial's lawyers argued that just as knife or match manufacturers are not held liable for people who harm themselves using their products, tobacco companies are not responsible for those who smoke carelessly.

Canadian tobacco firm loses round in lawsuit over fatal fire::[Final Edition]

Sudbury Star. Sudbury, Ont.:Mar 29, 2001. p. B2

Three children died after teenager fell asleep while he was smoking

TORONTO (CP) -- The families of three young people who burned to death in a fire caused by careless smoking have won a major victory against a tobacco company for failing to make a cigarette that puts itself out.

An Ontario judge recently rejected a legal manoeuvre by Imperial Tobacco Canada to throw out the survivors' class-action lawsuit on the basis it lacked sufficient legal grounds.

Justice Peter Cumming of the Ontario Superior Court said instead that it was plausible to argue that the company sold a product it chose not to make safer.

"It is arguable that by enhancing the addictive features of the product, they encourage obsessive use that leads to people smoking when they are weary, unwell or likely to fall asleep," Cumming said.

"The pertinent issue is whether, notwithstanding the notoriety of the risks of misuse, manufacturers have deliberately designed the product in such a way as to cause misuse."

His ruling means the lawsuit, launched by the Ragoonanan and Baboolal families, can move forward to the next pretrial stage: certification as a valid class action, suitable for trial.

Lawyers for Imperial argue that the dangers of smoking in bed are so obvious that lawsuits should be out of the question.

A lawyer for the families, Douglas Lennox, said Thursday that while similar lawsuits have been attempted in many countries, no judge has permitted a case to go forward and provided reasons that can be used as a precedent.

Three-year-old Jasmine Ragoonanan, Ranuka Baboolal, 15, and Philip Ragoonanan, 16, burned to death in the fire at the Ragoonanans' home in Brampton.

The fire began Jan. 18, 1998, when Philip fell asleep on a couch while smoking.

Fire-safe cigarettes, such as the U.S. brand Merit, feature special paper and an arrangement of concentric rings that retard burning. Lennox said. Tobacco companies don't like them because untended cigarettes that go out can be relit later.

"We hope to show that they value profit over people," he said. "These companies have for decades resisted any product changes."

Imperial's lawyers argued that just as knife or match manufacturers are not held liable for people who harm themselves using their products, tobacco companies are not responsible for those who smoke carelessly.

Indexing (document details) Companies: Imperial Tobacco Ltd (NAICS: 312221, Duns:24-057-6553 ) Document types: Business Dateline: TORONTO Section: News

Suit targeting firm for failing to make 'fire-safe' cigarettes gets go-ahead

Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto:Mar 10, 2005.

TORONTO (CP) - A class-action lawsuit targeting a big tobacco company for making cigarettes that can easily ignite mattresses and upholstery has passed a major legal obstacle.

Justice Maurice Cullity of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused Wednesday to throw out the lawsuit against Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., saying a judge or jury ought to be able to hear the evidence of expert witnesses and draw their own conclusions.

The families of three young people who burned to death launched the lawsuit, which seeks to represent all Canadians who were injured or killed in smoking-related fires since 1987.

The plaintiffs allege that Imperial knew or should have known that it could manufacture "fire-safe" cigarettes, yet failed to do so.

"After four years of litigating this important motion, this proposed class action is now well positioned to provide access to justice for Canadians who have needlessly suffered damages, burns and death from cigarette-related fires," said Joel Rochon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Jasmine Ragoonanan, 3, Ranuka Baboolal, 15, and Philip Ragoonanan, 16, burned to death in a fire at the Ragoonanan's home in Brampton, Ont., on Jan. 18, 1998, when Philip allegedly fell asleep on a couch while smoking.

In its attempt to end the case, Imperial claimed that no link could be established between its conduct and the fire at the Ragoonanan home.

The company pointed to inconclusive results by the Ontario Fire Marshall's office and raised the possibility that the blaze was electrical. It also argued that the fire might have occurred regardless of whether Imperial manufactured fire-safe cigarettes.

Cullity noted that a former senior Imperial employee is prepared to state that the company did research into the possibility of manufacturing fire-safe cigarettes "before a decision was made to terminate it and suppress any results that had been obtained."

Fire-safe cigarettes feature special paper and an arrangement of concentric rings that retard burning. The plaintiffs allege that tobacco companies don't like them because untended cigarettes that go out can be relit later.

(Globe and Mail)

Indexing (document details) Subjects: Crime, Social problems, Business, Litigation Classification Codes 9172 Companies: Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. Author(s): Anonymous Document types: News Publication title: Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto: Mar 10, 2005. Source type: Periodical ProQuest document ID: 809511701 Text Word Count 337

 


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