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Class actions

Evidence of commonality on applications to certify class actions: the burden is on the plaintiffs.

Research articles : 
Michael Dew is a Vancouver lawyer who practices in all areas of civil litigation (including ICBC cases). Click here for contact information and further details about Michael’s practice.

 
Introduction
Class actions are a procedural tool that allow many plaintiffs who have similar claims to band together to share the costs of litigation.
 
Class actions provide an effective means for plaintiffs to bring individually small, but meritorious, claims; claims which would not be worth litigating in isolation. The key battle in class action litigation is the certification application. It is at that hearing that the court decides whether the plaintiffs’ claims should be certified (which will likely prompt serious settlement negotiations) or dismissed (which will likely be the end of the case).
 

Industry Class Actions: A new class action industry

Research articles : 

By Ward Branch and Don Lebans of Branch MacMaster Barristers & Solicitors.

This paper, written in 2005, deals with class actions in which representative plaintiffs wish to sue multiple defendants even though only other members of the class have a cause of action against some of the named defendants.
 
The paper explains that the courts in Ontario and British Columbia have articulated conflicting answers to the question of whether one plaintiff can sue an entire industry. In Ontario, the Courts insist on a plaintiff with a cause of action against each of the named defendants. In British Columbia, the Court of Appeal has indicated that a plaintiff can sue companies with whom he has had no dealings.
 
The paper discusses the approaches adopted in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, and considers the merits of the different  approaches.  
 
The paper concludes that unless (1) the factual underpinnings of the industry claim are almost identical across companies, and (2) it is hard to locate class members for each major company, it may not be a wise to seek certification without having a representative plaintiff for each defendant.
 
 
    
 
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