Recently, there was extensive media coverage of a US district court’s refusal to certify a proposed privacy class action against Google (see one such article HERE). The case alleged that Google had intercepted and read users’ emails, and mined the content of those emails for targeted advertising. Plaintiff’s counsel had argued that the case could give rise to the highest award of damages in any class action, anywhere, to date.
Does the US court’s refusal to certify mean no such case will be filed or certified in Canada?
The US court’s refusal to certify the action in the US certainly makes a Canadian class action less likely. … Continue Reading
As many Canadian employers continue to amend the terms of pension and benefit plans, class action proceedings continue to be brought by current and former employees. While more actions are ongoing than are described here, the following are some of 2013’s more notable matters.
In July 2013 the Ontario Superior Court released its decision in O’Neil v. GM. The Court determined that an employer may modify benefits after retirement only where the contractual language clearly grants such a right. In this case, it was determined that the benefit plan terms were not sufficiently clear to allow post-retirement benefit amendments.
On January 16, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Vivendi Canada Inc.… Continue Reading
Arguments have been cropping up for some time that, given the increased ease of certifying class actions, certification may not be a battle worth fighting for defendants – especially if they cannot recover their costs.
As Justice Perell put it in Cavanaugh v. Grenville Christian College:
Inevitably, the loser of a certification motion, be it the plaintiff or the defendant, will argue that the winner’s claim for costs is excessive, unreasonable, and beyond the reasonable expectations of the losing party.
Encouragingly for defendants, however, there has been a trend of higher costs awards for those who successfully resist certification. Ontario costs awards relating to certification have been increasing over the years, but the recent award of $1.85 million in the case of Fairview Donut Inc.… Continue Reading