Injured individuals may be hesitant to take on large and powerful defendants. When a large number of people suffer the same damage and wish to be compensated, they do not necessarily have to start individual lawsuits. Class proceedings can level the playing field between you and a large corporation.
You may also know class proceedings as “class actions”, as they are called in many American jurisdictions. Regardless of their name, they can be an important tool for consumer protection.
How they work:
In a class action, one representative plaintiff starts the lawsuit on behalf of people with the same or similar injuries. The representative plaintiff seeks court approval of the proposed group or class of plaintiffs under the rules in the Ontario Class Proceedings Act. Once the class is approved, or “certified”, the class action can proceed to trial. The claims of all of the plaintiffs can be resolved within a single lawsuit. Class proceedings can be less risky for plaintiffs than going it alone, and can give large numbers of people access to compensation.
Mass tort proceedings are another option. No class certification step takes place, but one law firm can represent multiple plaintiffs who have the same problem. This is more efficient for investigating the case, getting expert reports, legal research, and many other aspects of case management.
Class proceedings are used for many different claims:
Beament Hebert Nicholson counsel are experienced in class proceedings and mass torts. We have carried out class proceedings on issues including consumer protection issues and breaches of privacy. If you are suffering, and you think you have company, consult us about a class action or mass tort.