BAT Dodges Document Shredding Case

British American Tobacco (BAT) reached an out of court settlement in a case that threatened to explore the company's "document retention policy," under which sensitive documents were shredded. In a two-sentence statement, BAT said the case, which dealt with sharing compensation costs for a lung cancer victim, was withdrawn "on terms satisfactory" to the tobacco company. Justice Jim Curtis of the Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales previously found that BAT's "document retention policy" was developed "for the purpose of a fraud." He directed BAT to produce documents relating to its shredding policy by the end of June. The settlement, which does "not include payment to or by either party," has legal observers baffled. "There will be no further comment by either party," BAT concluded.