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Jul 13, 2011

HFN Obtains Dismissal of NIS 7.6 Billion Claim Filed Against British American Tobacco

On 13 July 2011, the Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision which in effect dismissed in liminie a reimbursement claim filed by Clalit Health Services against various entities of the British American Tobacco group and others for costs they incurred for providing medical treatment to members of Clalit that suffered from various illnesses as a result of smoking cigarettes.

The claim, filed in 1998, sought damages in excess of NIS 7.6 billion, which at the time, was the largest monetary claim ever to be filed in Israel and was based on statistical data without providing details with respect to any individual smokers.

In dismissing the claim, the Supreme Court inter alia found that the cigarette companies do not have a direct legal obligation to the health fund. Judge Procaccia stated: “These claims, as drafted, cannot stand, since there is a “genetic flaw” embedded in them. There is no purpose and intent in hearing these claims pursuant to the current law."

To view a copy of the decision, please click here.

British American Tobacco was represented in these proceedings by Adv. Tuvia Erlich, Adv. David Zailer and Adv. Odelia Offer, partners in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution department as well as associates Adv. Ruth Bergwerk and Adv. Ifat Pagis-Gelman.