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Class Actions

Class action in Canada

Our Class Actions team has considerable experience in virtually all types of class actions, especially in product liability, mass torts, insurance, competition, securities, employment and benefits, and public law.

We are also widely known as one of Canada's major players in medical device, pharmaceuticals, consumer claims and commercial conduct litigation.

Class action in Canada

Class action cases can be expensive; so we continually seek ways to minimize the cost through early substantive and procedural challenges.

We aggressively pursue discovery and motion practice, and we pride ourselves on "outside the box" strategies to obtain early judgment on key issues or lead class representatives.

We regularly act as lead national defense counsel in parallel class action litigation and MDL proceedings between Canada and the U.S.; we are highly experienced in working closely with American outside counsel for the benefit of mutual clients.

Among our many noteworthy successes:

  • Fasken Martineau initiated and led the successful challenge to overturn the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in McNaughton Automotive v. Co-operators. As a consequence, more than two dozen class actions were resolved favorably for companies in the automobile insurance industry.
  • We were successful in defeating certification in the landmark Bre-X securities class action. As a consequence, the ability of purchasers of securities in the secondary market to successfully bring forth class actions was largely foreclosed at that time.
  • We pioneered the concept of voluntary private settlement procedures (in Brimner v. Via Rail) whereby a defendant in a class proceeding might design its own settlement protocol to create a procedure that is preferable to the matter moving forward as a class action
  • In a number of cases, our firm has successfully launched preliminary motions to strike the pleadings on the basis that the statement of claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action thereby concluding the case before the certification stage. Of particular note are the cases Hughes v. Sunbeam and Zidaric v. Toshiba of Canada Ltd. where the entire actions were dismissed by way of preliminary motion.

Notable Wins & Key Clients