The final settlements were approved yesterday in a series of settlements that represent the second-largest recovery in Canadian competition class action history. Pro-sys Consultants Ltd. v. Infineon Technologies AG et al, 2014 BCSC 1936 alleged a price-fixing conspiracy among international manufacturers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), a semiconductor memory product that provides high speed storage and retrieval of information found in computers, servers and other electronic equipment. The class includes purchasers at all levels of the distribution chain. Analogous proceedings were also brought in Ontario and Quebec.… Continue Reading
Canadian employers have been watching a series of class action claims, with employees claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime, since 2007. In January 2014 we summarized the progress of those cases here. Banks have been the primary focus of the class-action claims, but more recently claims against a transportation company have also been brought forward. While individual overtime claims are generally not substantial, the claims can balloon when a representative plaintiff claims unpaid overtime, not only for themselves but on behalf of colleagues as well.
Cindy Fulawka (“Fulawka”) was employed at various Bank of Nova Scotia (“BNS”) branches and held various positions such as Personal Banking Officer and Account Manager.… Continue Reading
A study by NERA Economic Consulting released July 22, 2014 shows that consumer class action settlements in the US have increased steadily over the past four years (the “Study Period”). The study also showed that cases relating to privacy violations, specifically cases relating to SPAM and to improper use of personal information, increased significantly over the Study Period.… Continue Reading
Waldman v. Thomson Reuters Canada Limited, a recent decision denying approval of a proposed settlement, is perhaps a signal that actions in which there may be a “prohibitively high-risk” the class will not succeed are not ripe for settlement.
One reality in the class action context is that, once the certification threshold is passed, a pure cost-benefit analysis often leads to the conclusion that settling, whether the case is likely to succeed on the merits or not, outweighs the cost of many years of common issues and individual trials.
The United States Supreme Court recently heard argument that very few cases in the United States proceed once a class has been certified, and less than one-third of 1% ever get to a verdict.… 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.