Smokers' damages actions dismissed

The High Court today dismissed actions for damages against a number of cigarette companies brought by 50 people, among them Northern Ireland-born former snooker champion, Alex Higgins.

The High Court today dismissed actions for damages against a number of cigarette companies brought by 50 people, among them Northern Ireland-born former snooker champion, Alex Higgins.

The actions were dismissed by Master of the High Court Edmund Honahan, because they had not been pursued.

The cigarette companies asked for orders striking out the cases because the smokers involved had failed to provide statements of their claims.

Mr Honahan said he was concerned because orders for costs made against the persons whose cases had been struck out could have been avoided if those bringing the actions had informed their solicitors they were not pursuing the claims.

He said some of the 50 people whose cases had been dismissed had sued several companies and they could be facing costs from each company.

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