Category: Class Actions

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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…

Enough Is Enough: Court Suspends Class Action for Vexatious Conduct by Petitioner, Counsel

November 10, 2015

In September 2015, the Superior Court of Québec (Court) released a landmark decision rendered by Justice C. Masse in Deraspe v. Zinc électrolytique du Canada ltée, in which — for the first time in the area of class actions — the Court granted a motion for declaration of improper use of procedure, incapacity and quarrelsome conduct against a representative and…

Takeoff Denied for Airline Fuel Surcharge Class Action

August 25, 2015

Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed five class action certification applications in Unlu v. Air Canada (Unlu), which were brought against airlines regarding the manner in which fuel surcharges are displayed on a passenger’s ticket receipt. The plaintiffs alleged that the airlines’ display of fuel surcharges constituted a deceptive act or practice contrary to B.C.’s Business Practices and…

Court Clarifies Conditions to Certify a Class Action for Damages under Section 36 of the Competition Act

August 17, 2015

On August 7, 2015, Justice R. LeBlanc of the Federal Court of Canada dismissed a motion to certify a class action in Murphy v. Amway Canada Corporation, clarifying the conditions a proposed class plaintiff must meet in order to certify a class action for damages pursuant to section 36 of the Competition Act (Act). The plaintiff claimed that the operator…

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