Class actions allow individuals with a common negligence claim to group together in one single case against the same defendant. Class actions make lawsuits more affordable by allowing the affected claimants (the ‘class’) to share in the cost of bringing the matter to court.
Class Action Law in BC
Relatively recent to British Columbia law, class action legislation has only been in existence since 1996 with the Class Proceedings Act. Under this law, a person who has been harmed can apply to the BC Supreme Court to be the ‘representative plaintiff’ on behalf of a group of people.
The class action lawsuit then needs to be certified by the court as a ‘class proceeding’ and meet specific criteria. If the lawsuit isn’t certified, group members have the option to sue the defendant individually. However as an individual plaintiff, you are at risk for having to pay part of the defendant’s legal costs if you are unsuccessful in court.
Finding the Right Lawyer
Whether you’re considering starting a lawsuit, choosing to participate as a class member or are requiring defence from a class action, Hobbs Giroday’s class action lawyers have the expertise to provide advice and handle your proceedings. Hobbs Giroday has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in class action lawsuits for a range of industries and products, including automobiles, financial services, pension benefits and medical devices.
Hobbs Giroday prosecuted the national class action lawsuit against Guidant Corporation and its subsidiaries on behalf of all British Columbians who received potentially defective implanted defibrillators and pacemakers manufactured by Guidant.
In representing clients in class actions, we draw upon our expertise in the negligence legal realm such as products liability, personal injury, professional negligence and medical malpractice. Our seasoned litigators understand that these proceedings have the potential to be cumbersome, convoluted and costly. We carefully consider each move and offer practical solutions in the most streamlined and cost-effective way.
If you believe you have a claim or if you require defence in a lawsuit, contact Hobbs Giroday for a consultation.