(267) CIGARETTE LIABILITY: THE McTEAR CASE BEGINS
The case of McTear’s Executrix v Imperial Tobacco, in which a deceased smoker’s estate is suing cigarette manufacturers for failure to warn him of the dangers of smoking, began before Lord Nimmo Smith in the Court of Session on 7 October 2003. Mr McTear died of lung cancer in 1993 at the age of 48, having been a cigarette smoker since 1964 and having built up to a 60-a-day habit until diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in 1992. It is claimed that he was drawn to smoking by the glamorous image given to the habit by advertising. The evidence also showed that Mr McTear had 36 convictions and had been imprisoned 11 times for assault, breach of the peace, fire-raising and fraud; offences his wife attributed to a drinking problem. Imperial Tobacco denies liability and also that smoking causes lung cancer. The McTear estate is not legally aided, and its lawyers are said to be working on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.