Swedish Match's response to the filing of American-style lawsuit
The Silbersky American-style lawsuit claiming that Swedish Match failed to warn about the risks associated with smoking is without merit. Bo Aulin, General Counsel and Senior Vice-President of Swedish Match, speaking on behalf of the Company, noted: "The failure in this case is not Swedish Match’s, but rather Mr. Silbersky’s, in failing to remember that Swedish Match was totally owned and operated by the Swedish state, and cigarettes were sold at the direction of the Swedish government, during the time period his client claims to have begun smoking and during most of the time she decided to continue to smoke".
Swedish Match operated under the direction of the Swedish government, for the sole benefit of the Swedish people and our government. The Swedish government in doing so was implementing the societal decision to permit adults to choose to use tobacco or not. The Swedish Government decided that cigarettes should be sold by its own company. The Swedish Government also decided what warning label and content disclosure should be used (and where it should be placed) in order to inform the public of the health risks of smoking cigarettes. The Company, throughout its history, has always complied with the rules established by the government.
These rules have been established with the full knowledge by our society of the substantial health risk associated with cigarette smoking, including the risk of lung cancer. This information has been given wide public attention for decades. As a result, our society has made the decision that adults should be free to choose to smoke cigarettes or not smoke cigarettes - use tobacco or not use tobacco. The fact that the Government in the early 90’s decided to transfer ownership to private interests, does not change anything.
Common sense supports the Rättshjälpsnämnden’s finding that claimant had no justified interest in getting her case tried in denying Mr. Silbersky’s request to have trial costs paid by the State.
Swedish Match believes that today’s filing of an American-style lawsuit by the anti-tobacco movement is thinly-veiled effort to use the Swedish judicial system to achieve purely political goals. Bo Aulin stated, "This case is not a legal case, but rather a political issue."
"Mr. Silbersky should know better than trying to bring out the worst of American excesses, their out-of-control legal system, to our Swedish courts," said Bo Aulin.
For further information please contact:
Bo Aulin, General Counsel and Senior Vice President Tel:+46 8 658 03 64
Mobile:+46 70-558 03 64
Home:+46 8 768 45 22