Category

Class Actions

Category

An updated (and reportedly final) text for Europe’s new collective redress regime has been adopted. The European Commission published the agreed text of the directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC here. In this article, we consider what is being proposed in this latest draft and what we can expect to happen next. Recap: What has happened so far? On 22 June 2020, the European…

In Godfrey v Pioneer, 2019 SCC 42 (“Godfrey“), the Supreme Court of Canada has lowered the bar for certifying price-fixing class actions brought under the federal Competition Act, while also allowing new categories of claimants to participate as class members. The decision arose from a class action filed in British Columbia against a group of 42 foreign companies who manufactured optical disc drives and related products. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants conspired to fix…

It appears that courts have found a way to try to keep class actions alive even where traditional damages claims do not satisfy the stringent standard for class certification. Specifically, recent California federal court decisions in class action litigation reflect a seeming willingness to certify classes for purposes of injunctive relief when damages claims do not qualify for class treatment. While it used to be that a defendant could escape financial exposure by showing that…

Overview of Australia’s class action system Class actions are a well-established dispute resolution mechanism in Australia, under both State and Federal regimes. The threshold requirements for bringing a class action are low: class actions require only that seven or more group members have claims against the same person(s), which are in respect of, or arise out of, the same, similar or related circumstances and give rise to at least one substantial common issue of law…

Once a darling of the class action plaintiffs’ bar, food labeling class actions are becoming tough nuts to crack for plaintiffs in US District Courts. Recent decisions demonstrate a progressive unwillingness on the part of federal courts to accept arguments that consumers can be misled by food products’ labels where the ingredient list on packaging expressly discloses information to the consumer about what is in the product. The courts are also more and more unwilling…

In a 5-4 decision issued on 28 May 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that the federal removal statute does not permit a third-party counterclaim defendant to remove a class action from state court to federal court. This decision prevents a defendant sued by way of a third-party counterclaim in state court from litigating in federal court notwithstanding the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) broad language allowing “any defendant” to remove a class action…

Multi-party trials are increasingly being used across Europe. In Italy, where class action rules were enacted in January 2010, Parliament recently passed a new bill which will have a material impact on Italian class action law. The new bill is aimed at broadening the scope of class actions and the range of possible claimants. Opt-in system The Italian class action is based on an opt-in system which distinguishes it from class action for example in…

UNITED STATES – In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that classwide arbitration must be explicitly called for in an arbitration agreement to be enforceable. Specifically, the Court held that ambiguity as to whether the parties agreed to arbitration on a classwide basis cannot provide a “contractual basis” sufficient to compel class arbitration. Plaintiff Frank Varela filed the underlying lawsuit against his employer, Lamps Plus Inc., after a hacker gained access to…

UNITED KINGDOM – A significant development in UK class actions landed today – with the English Court of Appeal issuing a judgment that requires the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) to reconsider certification of an opt out class action issued against Mastercard on behalf of approx 46.2m people and valued at £14.098bn.  The judgment is published in full here and provides strong guidance to the CAT, indicating that a collective proceedings order will now be…

Overtime class actions are in the headlines again. On February 22, 2019, a class action claim seeking damages of over $100 million was filed against Flight Centre, an Australia-based travel services provider with stores in Canada and internationally. The claim alleges that Flight Centre systematically failed to pay overtime to its retail sales employees, referred to as “travel consultants”, requiring them to consistently work more than their scheduled hours, and implemented policies that fail to…