Category: Class Actions

Legal Trends 2016: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

February 29, 2016

ONE | INCREASING POWER OF ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS In 2016, regulated persons in Canada are increasingly likely to find themselves facing prosecution before tribunals, rather than in courts, and facing significant exposure to monetary penalties in those proceedings. Administrative monetary penalties have become popular with regulators but controversial among regulated persons and legal observers. In recent years, both federal and provincial…

Legal Trends 2016: Intellectual Property

February 28, 2016

ONE | LEGISLATIVE CHANGES The previous federal government committed Canada to sweeping changes to the legislation and regulations governing virtually every category of intellectual property in the country. Some of these changes have largely already taken effect. These include amendments to the Copyright Act and Trade-marks Act to introduce customs enforcement measures against counterfeit goods. Other changes, such as the…

De Minimis Principle Returns to Class Actions in Quebec

February 17, 2016

In our November 2015 Blakes Bulletin: De Minimis Rule is Back in the Context of Class Actions, we analyzed the Sofio c. Organisme canadien de réglementation du commerce des valeurs mobilières (Sofio) decision of the Court of Appeal of Quebec (Court), which applied the legal maxim de minimis non curat praetor, according to which courts should not concern themselves with…

Food and Beverage Class Actions in Canada: What Are the Litigation Risks?

February 10, 2016

Class actions in Canada are on the rise. With the imposition of strong consumer protection laws, expanding regulation of food and health generally, and enhanced government scrutiny, consumers are increasingly taking on companies for failure to fulfil legal requirements or for engaging in false or misleading advertising. This trend is particularly heating up in the food and beverage industry, where…

Class Action Results in Hefty Bill: C$2-Million in Punitive Damages

February 1, 2016

In the recent decision Biondi c. Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301), the Superior Court of Quebec (Court) ordered the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (Union) to pay C$2-million in punitive damages to the plaintiff class. Although Quebec courts can award punitive damages when expressly provided for in a statute, this remains an exceptional measure and…

Important Updates and Developments in Class Action Practice

January 27, 2016

Class action practice and jurisprudence continue to evolve at an accelerated rate. Contributors to this rapid evolution include a plaintiffs’ bar that continues to seek out new business models, new causes of action and novel remedies; the increasing experience of counsel and the judiciary with the common issues trial process; and the direction provided by the Supreme Court of Canada…

Federal Court Rules Internet Provider Should Not Recover Costs of Informing Clients of Motion for Customer Information

January 11, 2016

In Voltage Pictures LLC v. John Doe, the Federal Court ruled that TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy), a non-party Internet service provider, could not recover costs related to its decision to inform 200,000 of its customers of a pending motion seeking TekSavvy customer information. The motion was brought in a class action lawsuit alleging online piracy of the movie The Hurt…

Canadian Court Nixes Class Action for Patent Abuse

December 16, 2015

The British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA), in Low v. Pfizer Canada Inc., has held that Canada’s Patent Act provides a complete code that forecloses civil actions by consumers centred on breaches of the statute. BACKGROUND The decision relates to an application to certify a proposed class action, commenced by a representative plaintiff, Britton Low, against various Pfizer companies, alleging…

Recent Decision Clarifies Availability of Defences at the Leave Stage in Statutory Securities Class Actions

December 10, 2015

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s (Court) recent decision in Rahimi v. SouthGobi Resources (Rahimi) confirms that courts will consider and evaluate defences at the leave stage of a statutory secondary market disclosure proceeding under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act (OSA). The decision also illustrates how a court’s assessment of these defences may differ as between an issuer…

De Minimis Rule is Back in the Context of Class Actions

November 25, 2015

De minimis non curat praetor — this ancient legal maxim suggests that judges should not have to hear trivial cases. The maxim seems to have lost most of its significance in the context of class actions. In several instances, class actions have been filed to claim damages for minor and transient inconveniences, under various heads of damages, such as “psychological…