In a recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Di Filippo and Caron v. Bank of Nova Scotia et al, 2019 ONSC 3282 (Di Filippo), Justice Belobaba approved an “ice breaker” settlement in a price-fixing class action despite the “token” settlement amount — which represented less than 6% of the settlement paid by the same defendants in parallel proceedings in the U.S. — on the basis of the “inestimable value” of the first-settling defendants’ agreement to co-operate with class counsel.
Proposed amendments to the Class Proceedings Act will 1) switch BC from an “opt in” to an “opt out” jurisdiction and 2) establish a framework for the certification of multi-jurisdictional class proceedings. If enacted, the amendments will have significant consequences for both current and future class proceedings in the province.
The proposed amendments contained in Bill 21 would bring significant change to the class proceedings regime in British Columbia. While these changes would have a number of effects, the most notable of these is that British Columbia would likely be viewed as a more attractive forum for multi-jurisdictional class proceedings especially in light of the fact that it remains to be a “no cost” regime. As a result, the number and size of class proceedings in British Columbia can be expected to increase.
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