Toronto-based lawyer Andrew Tuck, who represents tobacco companies, has joined the Toronto-Dominion Bank lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell over allegations that the company’s former chairwoman had lied to the board about the environmental impacts of tar sands oil.
Tuck said the lawsuit is one of a series that he has brought against tobacco companies in the wake of the 2015 Royal Dutch tar sands pipeline spill.
“This is one case in a very long line of litigation where we’ve taken the position that tar sands have an adverse effect on the environment,” Tuck said.
Tucker is the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, who include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Association of Oil and Gas Professionals.
He said the suit is not a criminal action and it will not require a criminal conviction or criminal proceedings.
The case, Tuck says, is based on the company saying the tar sands are safe for oil companies.
The company’s own studies show the oil industry has been emitting high amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for years.
The Canadian Cancer Society is suing the tar companies over the spill.
The society says the tar-sands oil has been “polluting” waterways and the environment.
“The industry is guilty of the most serious climate change violation in the world,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacKinnon, the society’s senior scientist.
The company says the court order to halt the oil spill will be the only way to bring the issue before a jury.
The court order was put in place by a court judge after the court ruled that the tar company could not make its case to the court in public.
The oil companies say the case is about the environment and the tar sand is safe.
“The tar sands were tested for their environmental impact and found to be safe to use.
They were also found to have zero emissions,” Tucker said.
“They are safe to extract and use and the company is confident that tar sand oil is not toxic to the environment.”
“We believe the tar industry should not be held to a higher standard than the rest of the oil and gas industry.”
The case is the second time the Canadian tobacco company has brought a class action suit against tar sands.
Last fall, the company filed a similar lawsuit against Alberta’s tar sands industry.