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Common Obstacles Class Members Face In Settlement Claims Processes

By: Khawla Khalifa To many players who are involved in legal actions, the word ‘settlement’ echoes sentiments of relief and the end of an ordeal. However, to class members of settled class actions, reaching a settlement could mean the beginning of yet another uphill battle. Although judges consider whether the settlement is in the best … Continue reading “Common Obstacles Class Members Face In Settlement Claims Processes”

Releases Under Scrutiny: Protecting the Best Interests of the Class

By: Iman Naqvi A broad legal release threatens the principle of access to justice in class proceedings. A release prevents the parties in a lawsuit from pursuing further legal action against the other over the same issue – the plaintiff is compensated by the defendant and in exchange, the plaintiff agrees to release the defendant … Continue reading “Releases Under Scrutiny: Protecting the Best Interests of the Class”

“Compromise and the Compromised: Accessibility in Class Action Settlement Agreements”

By: Ashley Ash & Olivia Pomajba Access to justice is a pillar of class action litigation. Barriers to meaningful justice can remain, however, even within the class action itself, especially in the settlement claims process. Class action litigation often ends with a settlement agreement, rather than a trial. It is common for class counsel and … Continue reading ““Compromise and the Compromised: Accessibility in Class Action Settlement Agreements””

First Dismissal of Class Action for Delay Following Amendment to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act

By: Bianca Demian The Ontario Class Proceedings Act (“CPA”) was amended on October 1, 2020 to address issues related to procedural delay in an effort to advance stagnant claims.  As described in a previous blog, the Law Commission of Ontario had recommended additional rules to mitigate the harm of delay on class members who may … Continue reading “First Dismissal of Class Action for Delay Following Amendment to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act”

2021: Year in Review

By: Olivia Pomajba The Class Action Clinic has selected the top five most notable class action decisions of 2021. These decisions set important precedents in class action practice, as the Court addressed the power dynamic between plaintiffs, defendants, and class action procedure itself.   Class Actions & the Gig Economy: Heller v. Uber Technologies, 2021 ONSC … Continue reading “2021: Year in Review”

Efficiency Over Fairness: Interpreting the Day School Settlement

By: Katie Pfaff and Jasminka Kalajdzic In April 2020, former Clinic student caseworker Karly Lyons wrote a blog about a pivotal case for class action settlements – JW v Canada (AG), an appeal arising from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). In a three-way split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada established limits on … Continue reading “Efficiency Over Fairness: Interpreting the Day School Settlement”

Cy-Près Awards to the Class Action Clinic

By Oscar Ramirez On June 17, 2021, Justice Belobaba released his decision approving the proposed settlement in MacDonald et al. v BMO Trust Company et al. In the decision, Justice Belobaba went over the proposed settlement, which included a term that the first $250,000 in cy-près distributions would be paid to the Class Action Clinic. … Continue reading “Cy-Près Awards to the Class Action Clinic”

The Settlement Claims Process: What Type of Evidence Do I Need?

By: Micheline Chevrier It can be many years before a class action lawsuit is resolved. If a settlement is reached and approved by the Court, the claims process is the final step to concluding the matter. It, too, can also take several months or a few years to complete. The kind and extent of evidence … Continue reading “The Settlement Claims Process: What Type of Evidence Do I Need?”

Mark Your Calendar! How is a Claims Application Deadline Determined?

Written By: Katie Pfaff. Special thanks to Jonathan Foreman of Foreman & Company for lending his insights in the making of this blog. You have made it. As a class member, you have followed a class action proceeding from its certification all the way to settlement approval, and now, thankfully, you are eligible for compensation … Continue reading “Mark Your Calendar! How is a Claims Application Deadline Determined?”

Reflections on Trauma Informed Lawyering in a Class Action Settlement Hearing

By: Michael Burns The fundamental principle of trauma informed lawyering is to be aware of the impact trauma can have upon a person. Trauma affects everyone differently and someone who has experienced trauma can react to it in a way that is unique to themselves. The legal system is often set up in a way … Continue reading “Reflections on Trauma Informed Lawyering in a Class Action Settlement Hearing”

Pearce v Pillars: What’s the deal with ‘class action waiver’ clauses in contracts of adhesion?

By: Emma Walsh Introduction Class actions can, and often do, serve as a procedural vehicle to aid comparably weaker parties in holding larger organizations accountable. Yet, at the outset of their relationship, larger organizations may require individuals to contractually waive their rights to participate in a class action. The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently … Continue reading “Pearce v Pillars: What’s the deal with ‘class action waiver’ clauses in contracts of adhesion?”

What am I Getting Myself Into? The Role and Responsibilities of the Representative Plaintiff(s)

By: Micheline Chevrier Who is a “representative plaintiff”? In a class action, the representative plaintiff is the individual who commences an action on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals. Theoretically, the class may be as small as two individuals who would be represented by the representative plaintiff, but in reality, the class is … Continue reading “What am I Getting Myself Into? The Role and Responsibilities of the Representative Plaintiff(s)”

Francis v Ontario: When is the Government liable for its misconduct?

By: Lyann Ordenes The Ontario Court of Appeal’s (ONCA) recent holding in Francis v Ontario confirms that baseline damages under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be sought in class actions as a measure of compensation, vindication and deterrence. In this case, Charter damages were awarded due to the Ontario Government’s unconstitutional system … Continue reading “Francis v Ontario: When is the Government liable for its misconduct?”

Is a Cy Près Award to Legal Aid Appropriate?

By Lauren Tzogas For many years now, judges have approved the payment of settlement money to cy près recipients when it is impractical or uneconomical to pay the settlement funds directly to class members. These recipients are usually charitable or non-profit organizations, university research initiatives or the Class Proceedings Fund (“CPF”). Cy près distributions can … Continue reading “Is a Cy Près Award to Legal Aid Appropriate?”

Objection, Your Honour! Can class members dispute settlement orders in class actions?

By Daniel MacDonald A feature unique to class actions is that class members are not always happy with settlements. Occasionally, class members object to settlements but judges approve them anyway. Is there recourse for class members when this situation arises? Last month, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that unhappy class members have no right … Continue reading “Objection, Your Honour! Can class members dispute settlement orders in class actions?”

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Opting Out of a Class Action

By Braden Adsett Given the exceptional ability of the class action vehicle to aggregate claims and deliver widespread relief, it is subject to unique procedural requirements. One of these procedures is called certification. This is where the court determines if it is appropriate for the class action to proceed based on the five factors articulated … Continue reading “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Opting Out of a Class Action”

Defendant Class Proceedings

By Flavia Zaka Class proceedings usually invoke images of a large asymmetry of numbers between parties: multitudes of individuals on the plaintiff side, and relatively few, but powerful, governments or corporations on the defence side. Though this is the most common model, it is not the only one that class action statutes permit. Ontario’s legislation … Continue reading “Defendant Class Proceedings”

Survivors’ Perspectives on Settlement Claims Processes

By Mariam Rajabali From 1920 to 1996, Indigenous children were removed from their families and placed in federally operated Indian Residential Schools. While attending these schools, many children were harmed physically, emotionally and sexually, and all suffered from the ruptures in their families and communities, causing disastrous ripple effects and leading to devastating intergenerational trauma. … Continue reading “Survivors’ Perspectives on Settlement Claims Processes”

LTC Class Actions and Bill 218 – Navigating a Shifting Legal Landscape

By Flavia Zaka There are 626 Long Term-Care (“LTC”) Homes in Ontario, housing more than 79,000 people. By the end of the first wave of COVID-19, 55% of the LTCs had reported an outbreak.  To date, 1959 residents have died from exposure to the virus.At least 15 proposed class actions against LTCs have been filed … Continue reading “LTC Class Actions and Bill 218 – Navigating a Shifting Legal Landscape”

Cancelled Flights and Lack of Refunds lead to Class Actions

By Mariam Rajabali In the flood of litigation during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased number of COVID-19 related class actions. Whether the targets are long-term care homes, retailers, insurance companies or airlines, COVID-19 has gone beyond impacting everyone’s day-to-day life. Now, it has forced consumers to consider their loyalty to their favourite … Continue reading “Cancelled Flights and Lack of Refunds lead to Class Actions”

Objectors – The Reality of Objecting to Class Action Settlements

By Azra Alagic In Canada, class members have four basic rights: the right to be provided notice once a class action is certified; the right to opt-out of a class action; the right to be provided with notice of settlement; and the right to officially object to a settlement they find is unfair or inappropriate. … Continue reading “Objectors – The Reality of Objecting to Class Action Settlements”

The Amended Class Proceedings Act: What’s In it for Class Members?

By Lovejot Bhullar Bill 161, the omnibus bill proposed by the Ontario Government which makes significant amendments to the Class Proceedings Act (CPA), is now law. As discussed in two previous blog posts, changes to the certification test pose significant challenges with respect to access to justice for Ontarians seeking redress through class actions: the … Continue reading “The Amended Class Proceedings Act: What’s In it for Class Members?”

Ontario the Outlier: How Changes to the Class Proceedings Act Might Make Certification More Difficult in Ontario than Anywhere Else

By Jasminka Kalajdzic In December 2019, the Government of Ontario introduced Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020, omnibus legislation that effects changes in the Class Proceedings Act, 1992 [CPA] among other statutes. The Class Action Clinic largely supports the amendments that aim to improve transparency and efficiency of the class action regime. Two … Continue reading “Ontario the Outlier: How Changes to the Class Proceedings Act Might Make Certification More Difficult in Ontario than Anywhere Else”

Long-Term Care Homes and the Rise of COVID-Related Class Actions

By Azra Alagic and Lovejot Bhullar The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting how virtually every institution and business are run. The pandemic is also exposing their vulnerabilities. One of the most hard-hit institutions has been long-term care (“LTC”) homes. The rapid spread of the virus has illustrated the need to examine the standards of LTC homes … Continue reading “Long-Term Care Homes and the Rise of COVID-Related Class Actions”

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