Tobacco – A Challenge to the Law
The Law Commission thought that taxpayers and those who would bear the burden of increased liability would not be identical groupings. The Law Commission seemed to consider it beneficial that the cost of tort compensation be confined to those who benefit from the activities leading to tort liability. However, the absence of enterprise liability complicated establishing liability as there was a need to show that Canadian companies were aware of research undertaken by their international parent companies. In the High Court of New Zealand, Lang J was unwilling to extend the principle in the context of liability of tobacco producers for harm from smoking. In contrast to the US litigation which focused on the documents that revealed that the tobacco companies knew more about the risks than they had admitted and the addictive nature of tobacco, the Scottish judge seemed content not to question industry conduct.