Thursday, December 17, 2009


When Bill Berardino was part of the Defence team

Back in the days when things were different, the B.C. government was the first jurisdiction in the commonwealth
to file a health care costs recovery action against the tobacco industry. Several other provinces expressed an interest in following BC’s lead.

The plan was to sue the wealthy tobacco companies for the health costs of treating victims of cigarette smoking. I remember that time. Everyone said the province would never win against the wealthy tobacco companies. But they did.

Other provinces watched closely and six - Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan - have now passed or are in the process of passing legislation that will pave the way for suits meant to recoup costs. Read more HERE. [BC Court of Appeal Upholds TDHCCRA - if link isn't working, paste this into your browser.]

The province of British Columbia was represented at the Court by Thomas Berger, O.C., Q.C., Daniel Webster, Q.C., Elliott Myers, Q.C., and Craig Jones of Bull, Housser & Tupper.

Counsel for the tobacco industry defendants included: Jack Giles, Q.C., Jeffrey Kay, and Dylana Bloor of Farris for JTI-Macdonald Corp., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International, Inc.; Richard Sugden, Q.C., and Craig Dennis of Sugden, McFee & Roos for British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd.; William Berardino, Q.C., David Harris, and Andrea MacKay of Berardino & Harris for Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.; James Macaulay, Q.C., and Ken Affleck, Q.C., of Macaulay McColl for Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.; Ross Clark and Cyndi Millar of Davis & Company for Philip Morris Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc.; and Loryl Russell of L.D. Russell & Company for the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers’ Council.

That's right. In that trial, our Special Prosecutors for the BC Rail Case -- Bill Berardino, Andrea MacKay -- were counsel for Imperial Tobacco. They were the part of the defence team and the BC Government was the prosecution. David & Goliath ... or more likely: Goliath & David. Imagine Berardino in a head-on battle against the BC government.

On May 20, 2004, the BC Court of Appeal held in a unanimous decision that the province’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act S.B.C. 2000 c. 30 was constitutionally valid. The Act enabled the BC Government to sue to recover health care costs associated with treating tobacco-related disease. The appeal decision paved the way for the province to continue its health care costs recovery action against the tobacco industry for alleged wrongs spanning five decades. {Snip} ...

[I wonder whatever happened to that ... ?]

- BC Mary.


Gooooood Morning BC Mary..... Your Here link doesn't work, it goes to an outfit that wants to sell websites...

I wonder whatever happened with that....? I don't know, but I hope you're not suggesting that William Berardino smokes cigarettes...
In answer to your wondering whatever happened to that.... here is some intriguing related news from a few days ago, under the headline 'Tobacco companies claim Ottawa played equal role developing cigarettes.'

Anyone interested in tobacco news and history can keep informed at

It also can't hurt to read 'The Cigarette Century' by Allan Brandt. It's horrifying to read about the depths of evil inherent in the tobacco industry, in both the past and the present, especially given its interwovedness into every aspect of our entire world - particularly the political and economic aspects of it.
We need to keep in mind that lawyers aren't about right and wrong or even morals or social justice. They are hired guns, and a good one should be able to argue to either convict or acquit the Devil himself - depending on who's paying the bucks.

We all know that Imperial Tobacco definitely had the deep pockets to hire the best hired guns to find any suit claiming liability for heatlth costs. Now the seldom seen Mr. Berardino should be representing the interests of ALL British Columbians, since WE are paying the big hourly rate for him and Andrea, and Janet, not Gordo the Greedmonger!
I know that, Koot. You missed the part I didn't explain ...

which government was the firm of Berardino, Harris & MacKay battling?

I mean to say, which government had the courage, the foresight, the gonads to launch that lawsuit?

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