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Class Actions

Class actions are complex and specialized and require experienced and dynamic counsel. Teplitsky, Colson LLP has the talent and expertise to effectively navigate class action litigation.

A class action provides a mechanism for which a lawsuit can be brought on behalf of a large class of people and is distinct from a traditional lawsuit in a number of ways. The class action is brought by one or more persons who represent the class and serve as representative plaintiffs. The class action must be certified which means that the Court must certify that the class action is proper and in compliance with a test set out in the class proceedings statute. The certification motion is probably the most important step in a class action. If the case is ‘certified’ at the certification motion, and a Judge allows it to proceed as a class action, it is likely that the Defendant will settle the class action. Settlements in class actions must be approved by the Court. If there is no settlement, the class action moves to a trial of the common issues which affect the entire class. If the class is successful at trial, each individual class member must then proceed to prove their damages.

Common types of class actions include but are not limited to:

  • product liability cases such as medical devices (hip implants );
  • pharmaceutical drug cases;
  • sexual abuse cases in educational institutions;
  • stock market manipulation cases;
  • unlawful overtime cases involving large corporations.

Teplitsky, Colson LLP lawyers have been involved in class actions since the mid-90s, primarily on the Plaintiff-side, but also on the Defence side. Harvin Pitch has been involved in some of the most important class actions in Ontario and Canada and was one of the class counsel in the Hepatitis C (tainted blood) class action which recovered $1.2 billion dollars for the class. Mr. Pitch was also involved in a number of pharmaceutical drug class actions including the Zyprexa class action (where it was alleged that Zyprexa caused diabetes). More recently, Mr. Pitch was one of the lead counsel in the Sunrise Propane class action involving the explosion of a propane facility in Toronto. Currently, he is one of the lead counsel in a series of medical implant class actions involving the hip implant sold by Johnson & Johnson which was recalled from the market.

If you believe that you may require the assistance of class-action counsel, do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.