Brazil court gives tobacco companies 30-day ultimatum on lawsuit

A federal judge in Brazil has ruled that British American Tobacco Plc (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI) have 30 days to defend themselves against compensation claims for tobacco-related diseases. The ruling stated that Souza Cruz Ltda, Philip Morris Brazil Industria e Comercio Ltda and Philp Morris Brasil SA were not subsidiaries of BAT and PMI but were operational wings of those organisations. The ruling means that BAT and PMI can now receive subpoenas through those operational wings in Brazil. The solicitor general’s office, AGU, has filed a lawsuit to claim public health costs for treating tobacco-related diseases over the past 5 years.