09/12/2012 06:15 EDT | Updated 11/12/2012 05:12 EST

P.E.I. files claim against tobacco companies to recover health costs

CHARLOTTETOWN - The P.E.I. government has filed a claim with the province's Supreme Court in a bid to recover health-care costs for tobacco-related illnesses.

Justice Minister Janice Sherry says the claim begins the process of holding the tobacco industry to account for the harm it has caused to Islanders.

The provincial government retained a legal consortium last year to present its case.

The consortium is led by two national law firms, Bennett Jones LLP and Siskinds LLP.

These firms also represent New Brunswick, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Sherry says the province wants the court to order tobacco companies to reimburse P.E.I. for health-care costs for tobacco-related illness dating back to 1953.