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Class action lawsuits in canada

Much like the United States, Canada also has a system for class actions. On April 6, 2017, the British Columbia Supreme Court held that a conventional or individual action can be converted into a class proceeding by amending the claim to invoke the provisions of the British Columbia Class Proceedings Act. These orders are discretionary.

While this ruling is new for B.C., these types of amendments converting an action to a class proceeding have been permitted in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

In exercising its discretion to permit such an amendment, the court held the following factors are relevant:
• The history of the proceedings;
• The length and reason for the delay in seeking to convert the action;
• The expiry of any limitation periods;
• The presence or absence of other prejudice to either party;
• The likelihood or otherwise of a proper class eventually being defined;
• The conduct of the parties; and
• The objectives of a class proceeding: judicial economy, access to justice and behavior modification.

In this case, the court determined that it was not an appropriate case to grant the conversion. Nevertheless, the case is significant for defendants in litigation who may think they are not at risk for being the target of a class proceeding if an individual claim (or claims) on the same issue has already been commenced.

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are able to represent both injured Americans and Canadians. One of the partners of TheLawFirm.com is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia. If you are the victim of a defective medical device, a bad drug or have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another, please call us for a free consultation.

Please contact us at 1(855) 464-0808 or for a free legal evaluation of your claims today!

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