The fight goes on

The fight goes on

By Mark Chillingworth

Peter Gordon will continue the fight to prove that British American Tobacco destroyed documents to prevent the company from being sued in court by smokers suffering from cancer.

The Court of Appeal over-turned Justice Geoffrey Eames' April decision on Friday (Read story) and ordered a re-trial of the case, McCabe versus British American Tobacco (BAT). Ms McCabe's family were also ordered to repay the $700,000 that was awarded to them in April.

Speaking to the media at the Court of Appeal in Melbourne, Peter Gordon, Rolah Ann-McCabe's solicitor said he would continue the fight with BAT and appeal Friday's decision. Mr Gordon said that David Schechter's confession under oath that the BAT 'document retention policy' destroyed documents so that they would not be used against BAT by plaintiffs and the media would form part of his case.

Ms Mcabe, who died in October from smoking caused cancer, left three sons. Jamie McCabe, 21 told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper that he too will continue the fight with BAT.

"We will keep fighting mum's battle and dad's battle for them," he said.

Justice Eames struck-out the McCabe versus BAT case in August, ruling that Ms McCabe would not receive a fair trial without access to the documents and ordered BAT to pay her $700,000. Ms McCabe's solicitors, Slater & Gordon had requested documents from BAT which had been discovered (revealed in a previous case) to a case in 1996, these documents were unavailable. BAT has been accused of destroying the documents.

Ms McCabe's family paid the $700,000 back to BAT on Friday and the family could face a $1 million bill for costs of the case. Payment of the costs will be stayed pending a High Court appeal.

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