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CIVIL PROCEDURE - Class or representative actions - Decertification

Tuesday, July 02, 2019 @ 11:46 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the representative plaintiffs from an order decertifying the class action. The appellants were among roughly one hundred clients of the respondent who were involved in trading options on the advice of Saturley, an investment advisor employed by the respondent. The clients of Saturley suffered losses because of a calculation error on their accounts for which the respondent acknowledged it was responsible. The action was a result of clients being unsatisfied with how the respondent calculated the compensation they were owed. The 2011 certification order set out 19 common issues. The respondent subsequently made several admissions. The motions judge found the respondent’s admissions enured to the benefit of all members of the class and that a class proceeding was no longer the preferable procedure.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The motions judge erred when he mistakenly assumed he could make an order that would benefit the class members who subsequently commenced individual actions. The admissions could not enure to the benefit of a class that no longer existed and was not defined. The motions judge erred in considering the admissions as a factor in determining a class action was no longer the preferable proceeding. Admission of some common issues did not change the determination that a class action was the preferred procedure. The admissions did not eliminate the common issues but rather resolved them. The motions judge should have granted judgment on the admitted common issues.

Crooks v. CIBC World Markets Inc., [2019] N.S.J. No. 232, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, D.P.S. Farrar, E. Van den Eynden and A.S. Derrick JJ.A., May 31, 2019. Digest No. TLD-July12019002