This proposed class action arises from the wildfire that destroyed the village of Lytton, BC and surrounding areas, including areas under the governance of the Lytton First Nation, on June 30, 2021 (the “Lytton Fire”). The claim alleges that the Lytton Fire was caused by heat and/or sparks emanating from a freight train owned by CP Rail that was operated by CN Rail on tracks owned by CN Rail. The claim asks that the court require that CN and CP pay damages to those individuals, business and governmental entities who suffered losses resulting from the Lytton Fire.
Hearing dates have been set for two important steps in the Lytton Fire class action. Since the lawsuit was filed by CFM Lawyers and Gratl & Company in August 2021, an overlapping claim was filed by a different legal team. A full-day hearing before Chief Justice Hinkson of the BC Supreme Court has now been set for January 12, 2022, to determine which of the two proposed lawsuits should go forward.
Meanwhile, the team from CFM Lawyers and Gratl & Company is working on the next phase of the lawsuit—certifying the claim as a class action. The certification application is an early step in every class action, in which the plaintiff asks the court to allow the case to proceed as a class action. While certification is not a judgement on the merits of the case, it is a crucial step toward resolution of the case. As such, it is typically fiercely contested by defendants and requires the plaintiff to present legal arguments and evidence from witnesses and experts.
The certification hearing is set for five days at the BC Supreme Court: October 17-21, 2022.
You are a member of the proposed class if you are a person, business or government that suffered personal injury, or economic or property losses resulting from the Lytton Fire. The claim defines the class and subclasses as:
Class members should preserve any documentation of losses resulting from the Lytton Fire. If you were affected by the Lytton Fire, please keep records of the following:
A class action is a lawsuit filed by one person (the “representative plaintiff”) on behalf of a large group of people (the “class”). The lawyers who start a class action are called class counsel. This class action case is assigned to Chief Justice Hinkson.
An early step in every class action is a certification application, in which the plaintiff asks the court to allow the case to proceed as a class action. As part of the certification application the plaintiff will propose a class definition identifying who is included in the case.
If the certification application is successful, the class members are given the opportunity to “opt out” of the class. This means that any person or business that does not wish to participate in the class action has the option to exclude themselves from the class. At that stage there is a court approved notice to all class members explaining when and how to opt-out of the class.
If there is a settlement in advance of a final determination at trial, the court needs to approve the settlement agreement and settlement amount, and the way that those funds are distributed to class members. The case management judge supervises all stages of the case. .
Please contact Mallory Hogan ([email protected], 604-697-2482) to discuss any questions you have about this case or the lawyers working on this case.
What if I do not want to be a class member in this class action?
Any person who does not wish to be a class member in this class action will be given the opportunity to opt out of the class action. You will be provided with notice of this opportunity and any applicable deadlines.
If you choose to exclude yourself or opt-out:
If you do nothing, and so do not exclude yourself or opt-out:
How much does it cost to be a class member in the class action?
Class members will not have to pay class counsel any money out-of-pocket. The lawyers will be paid from money collected from settlements or court awards. The amount that the lawyers are paid must be approved by the court. Class members will be provided with notice of class counsel’s requests for fees and are given the opportunity to make submissions to the court. If the defendants do not pay a settlement or court award, the lawyers will not collect any fees.
Case expenses incurred by the lawyers will also be paid from settlement proceeds or court awards. If no settlements or court awards are recovered, the lawyers will be responsible for all case expenses. Court approval is required before the lawyers are refunded any case expenses.
Hearings Scheduled for Lytton Fire Class Action - View