Advancing Class Action Claims Together

Class actions are a powerful avenue for advancing claims shared by multiple individuals with a common issue. From products liability to civil rights and beyond, explore how class actions can bring justice to a collective cause.

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Class action proceedings offer a collective avenue for addressing claims shared by multiple individuals facing a common issue. These proceedings span diverse areas of law, including:

  • Products liability and mass torts
  • Human rights
  • Contracts and negligent misrepresentation
  • Environmental law
  • Competition law
  • Insurance/benefit entitlement

Initiated through a Notice of Civil Claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, class actions are governed by the Class Proceedings Act. The process commences with a plaintiff representing a proposed class with shared grievances.

The most important step in the class proceeding is the class certification hearing. At that hearing, the court will decide whether to appoint the plaintiff as a representative plaintiff and certify the class. The requirements for certifying the class are that:

  1. The pleadings disclose a cause of action;
  2. There is an identifiable class of 2 or more persons;
  3. The claims of the class members raise common issues, whether or not  those common issues predominate over issues affecting only individual members;
  4. A class proceeding would be the preferable  procedure for the fair and efficient resolution of the common issues;  and
  5. There is a representative plaintiff who:
    1. would fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class,
    2. has produced a plan for the proceeding that sets out a workable method of advancing the proceeding on behalf of the class and of notifying class members of the proceeding, and
    3. does not have, on the common issues, an interest that is in conflict with the interests of other class members.

Following certification, British Columbia residents participate on an “opt-out” basis, while non-residents opt-in. This ensures collective issues are addressed comprehensively, facilitating effective redress for affected parties.


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