A class action is a legal mechanism which has been created to deal with a situation where a large number of individuals have the same or similar claims. Without this mechanism, each claim would have to be the subject of a separate lawsuit. In situations where the damages or amount in dispute are not great, the cost of proceeding with numerous lawsuits far outweighs anything that is likely to be recovered in the lawsuits.
In a Class Action, an individual, or a small number of individuals (called the Representative Plaintiff or Plaintiffs), commence an Action in the ordinary way by issuing a Statement of Claim in which claims are advanced on behalf of the Plaintiffs and other similarly situated persons (called the Class). The benefits of a Class Action are obvious. It allows the justice system to deal with these claims using efficiencies derived from economies of scale. Individuals who could not afford the cost of an individual lawsuit, or for whom an individual lawsuit would simply not be worthwhile, are able to receive a measure of justice in the Class Action.
Class Actions have existed in Ontario for many years, however, they were made the subject of formal statute when the Ontario Class Proceedings Act came into existence on January 1, 1993. This statute sets out guidelines that must be followed in order for a Class Action to receive approval to proceed.
- A cause of the action must be evident.
- There is a class of individuals involved, of which one of these individuals could be the representing Plaintiff.
- Commonalties must exist in the Class members' claims and / or defences.
- The commonalties that exist indicate a Class proceeding would be preferred.
We are counsel to Plaintiffs in numerous Class Actions. Click through for a listing of our ongoing Class Actions and of Potential Class Actions we are investigating.
Ongoing Class Actions
Potential Claims that we are investigating