It’s a loss in the courts for the Province against tobacco giant Phillip Morris.
In a unanimous decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal, the B.C. government has been ordered to hand over personal health information to Phillip Morris International.
The court has ruled that the tobacco company must have access to raw data used by the province in 2001, when it launched its lawsuit against over a dozen tobacco companies.
The lawsuit seeks health care expenses for treating disease in patients exposed to tobacco products.
The B.C. government argued that release of the patients’ raw data could violate privacy laws.
However, the B.C. Court of Appeal says the information, some going back 50 years, is key to proving damages, and that the sheer volume of material would make identifying individuals highly unlikely.