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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”

Beyond Four Corners: Settlement Agreements as Contracts in Class Actions

By Karly Lyons In a representative action where those affected (class members) have little to no practical say in the crafting and execution of a settlement, should the settlement document be treated as a contract between parties? In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada provides some guidance – and leaves many unanswered questions … Continue reading “Beyond Four Corners: Settlement Agreements as Contracts in Class Actions”

Where’s the Data? Canadian and American Approaches to Class Action Settlement Outcomes

By Alexandra Lawrence In October 2019, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a public workshop on how to improve class action settlement notices for consumers. The FTC’s primary concern was to ensure that consumers are receiving appropriate redress when competition and consumer protection class actions settle. Much of the discussion at the workshop … Continue reading “Where’s the Data? Canadian and American Approaches to Class Action Settlement Outcomes”

The Nevsun Decision: A Future Role for Customary International Law Claims in Canadian Class Actions?

Guest blog by Scott Robinson On February 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited decision in Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya. The Court’s decision holds important principles for the development and recognition of public international law in Canada, including the potential for corporate liability under it. It also provides an opening for … Continue reading “The Nevsun Decision: A Future Role for Customary International Law Claims in Canadian Class Actions?”

No Good Unless for the Public’s Good: When Can a Third Party Intervene after Certification is Denied?

By Sonya Molyneux As is the case elsewhere in Canada, third parties in Quebec must obtain court approval before they can intervene in a class action. Both in Quebec and Ontario, courts are hesitant to grant intervenors precious court time before a class action is authorized/ certified.  On February 12, 2020 Amnesty International (“Amnesty”) was … Continue reading “No Good Unless for the Public’s Good: When Can a Third Party Intervene after Certification is Denied?”

2019 Year in Review: Top 5 Class Action Cases Affecting Class Members

By Azra Alagic Class action case law continues to grow. This month’s blog explores some of the most important Canadian decisions of 2019 due to their impact on present and future class members. #1 Umbrella Purchasers – Expanding the Class Definition and Cause of Action In September 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its … Continue reading “2019 Year in Review: Top 5 Class Action Cases Affecting Class Members”

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Commentary on Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act

By Jasminka Kalajdzic Two years ago, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) embarked on an extensive two-year study of class actions, the first review of the Class Proceedings Act (CPA) in its history. The LCO consulted with stakeholders across Ontario’s justice system and conducted well over 100 interviews. It received 30 written submissions from industry, … Continue reading “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Commentary on Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act”

Not Quite Child’s Play: Unpacking the Lack of Clarity in Class Actions Involving Minors

By Alexandra Lawrence There are several distinctions between the various provincial class proceedings statutes, but one commonality is that not one statute in Canada sets out the procedure for when a class member, including the representative plaintiff, is a child. In fact, according to the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law, there is … Continue reading “Not Quite Child’s Play: Unpacking the Lack of Clarity in Class Actions Involving Minors”

Regulating the Self-Regulated Profession: The Roma Refugee Class Actions

By Karly Lyons On August 20, 2019 motions to certify three class proceedings for the purpose of settlement came before Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court. All three lawsuits were against immigration and refugee lawyers and alleged professional negligence. The claims involved Roma refugee claimants fleeing a far-right organization in Hungary called the Hungarian … Continue reading “Regulating the Self-Regulated Profession: The Roma Refugee Class Actions”

Expanding the Reach of Class Actions: Administrative Segregation

By Alexandra Lawrence and Karly Lyons According to the Canadian Bar Association, there are currently 295 active class actions in the province of Ontario. These proceedings are wide reaching and affect many Canadians in some way – even if they do not know they are class members. What kinds of class actions are being pursued? … Continue reading “Expanding the Reach of Class Actions: Administrative Segregation”

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