A study by NERA Economic Consulting released July 22, 2014 shows
that consumer class action settlements in the US have increased
steadily over the past four years (the "Study
Period"). The study also showed that cases relating to
privacy violations, specifically cases relating to SPAM and to
improper use of personal information, increased significantly over
the Study Period.
Additional description of the study and a link to the text of
the study are available HERE.
More headlines from the study include:
The banking and finance sector had the most cases settled
during the Study Period;
The banking and finance sector had approximately half the
settlement dollars over the Study Period;
Over half of the total settlement dollars during the Study
Period related to competition (antitrust) cases; and
Only approximately 10% of settlement dollars during the Study
Period related to the motor vehicle industry.
Implications for Canadian Class Action Litigants?
Historically, it was often the case that US class action trends
were echoed in Canada. However, there been a divergence
between Canadian and US class action law over the past few years,
with more barriers to certification being seen in the US and fewer
barriers in Canada. See, for example, a recent article noting
such an apparent trend HERE and a recent McCarthy Tétrault
blog post HERE. As a result the different legal trends
between the two countries, Canadian settlement trends may well not
echo the US experience.
However, the increase in privacy class actions seen in the US is
likely to be echoed in Canada. The data breach and SPAM
issues noted by NERA as the frequent subjects of such cases are
seen on both sides of the border, often involving companies with a
presence on both sides of the border. The overall consumer
focus on privacy is also similar on both sides of the border.
Indeed, the arguably lower bar to certification in Canada may mean
that the increase in such cases in Canada is even greater than that
seen in the US over the Study Period.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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