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04.20.2021

Autoparts Class Action: Settlement Updates

Settlements have been reached in the following actions:

Alternators, Automatic Transmission Fluid Warmers and Oil Coolers, Automotive Brake Hoses, Automotive Hoses, Fuel Injection Systems, Heater Control Panels, Inverters, Motor Generators, Occupant Safety Systems, Oxygen Sensors, Radiators, Spark Plugs, Starters, Steering Angle Sensors, Switches, and Windshield Wiper Systems.

The settlements are subject to court approval in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. The Ontario Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve these settlements at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, in the City of Toronto on May 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 situation, the Ontario hearing may proceed by videoconference, teleconference or in writing. The Quebec Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve some of these settlements virtually on May 31, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. In accordance with the Canadian Judicial Protocol for the Management of Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions, if the Ontario Court approves the settlements, the BC settlement approval applications will be heard in writing.

The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members.

The links below will redirect you to the long form notice which outline the nature of the settlements:

English
French

For additional information on this class action, please click here.

03.31.2021

New Settlements reached in Air Cargo Class Action

Settlements have been reached with Air Canada and British Airways. For more information on this class action, click here.

03.01.2021

Auto-Parts Distribution

Approved – Automotive Wire Harness Systems, Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems.

Settlements have been reached with all defendants in the Automotive Wire Harness Systems, Air Flow Meters, Electronic Control Units, Fan Motors, Fuel Senders, Power Window Motors, and Windshield Washer Systems actions and the Courts have approved protocols for the distribution of the settlement funds. The deadline to apply for compensation has passed.

Update April 2021: On behalf of Settlement Class Members who elected to assign their settlement benefits to charity, the Claims Administrator has provided the charities with your contact information and requested the charities issue charitable tax receipts. You do not need to take any further action in order to apply for the charitable tax receipt. All Settlement Class Members who were unable or failed to deposit their Interac e-transfer will be reissued payment via cheque. Cheques will be mailed in May 2021.

Please visit www.autopartsettlement.ca for further details.

02.25.2021

Boilermakers’ Pension Plan – Settlement Agreement approved

On February 4, 2021, Mr. Justice Mayer, the case management judge in the Boilermakers’ Pension Plan action approved the settlement agreement, the distribution plan and appointed the defendant as the Administrator with respect to the Distribution Plan. You can access the oral reasons for judgement here.

For more information on this class action, please visit our Boilermakers’ Pension Plan webpage.

02.05.2021

Optical Disc Drive Price Fixing

The British Columbia ODD class action will be certified for settlement purposes as against the Panasonic Defendants. For more information on this class action, click here.

02.03.2021

Certification Granted and Proposed Settlement Reached in Canadian Parking Heaters Class Action

Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP, Foreman & Company and Belleau Lapointe, s.e.n.c.r.l. are  pleased to announce that certification has been granted and a proposed settlement has been reached in the Canadian Parking Heaters Class Action.

A Parking Heater is a component used in commercial vehicles to warm the engine and cabin in lieu of idling the vehicle. A Parking Heater is defined in the lawsuit to mean a parking heater, accessories and parts sold for use with heaters, packages containing heaters and accessories and/or parts for parking heaters that were manufactured or sold by the Defendants for use in a commercial vehicle during September 13, 2001 and December 31, 2012.

You can find more information on our Parking Heaters Price Fixing page and on Foreman & Company’s website.

01.08.2021

CFM Lawyers honours those lost on Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752

On January 8, 2020, Ukrainian International Airlines Flight (UIA) PS752 was shot down by an Iranian missile, minutes after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Iran. All 176 people on board, including 55 Canadians, were killed.

CFM Lawyers and Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP are working together to represent families of Canadian passengers who were on Flight 752. We have lawyers and staff that can assist families in Farsi, and we are available to assist families across Canada.

CFM has prepared a summary of the avenues of compensation for family members impacted by the downing of UIA Flight 752. For more information, please contact Joe Fiorante, Q.C., David Jones, or Jamie Thornback.

09.25.2020

We have BIG news to share. CFM has two new partners!

We think Jen Winstanley and Jamie Thornback are two of the best litigators we have worked beside and we are excited to announce that they have agreed to join us as partners. They have shown a tenacity, an intellectual thoughtfulness and a deep commitment to fighting for justice on behalf of their clients. We are incredibly proud to welcome them as our two newest partners. We know that they will continue to make CFM Lawyers a stronger firm. Congratulations Jen and Jamie! Looking forward to the post-COVID party to celebrate you.

Google Faces Class Action in Canada

CFM is co-counsel in the recent proposed class action lawsuit filed in Vancouver against Google, its parent company and its subsidiaries, on behalf of Canadian residents whose personal information was collected, without consent, by Google. The action is part of a coordinated national effort, with additional filings by members of our counsel group in Toronto and Montreal.

Read the Press Release: Google Faces Class Action in Canada Alleging it Turns Canadians’ Electronics into Tracking Devices Without Their Consent

03.24.2020

Compensation Claims Arising from Downing of Ukrainian Airlines PS752

CFM Lawyers is a Vancouver based aviation law firm. We act for victims of aviation accidents across Canada and internationally. We have received many calls from the media, local community and passengers’ families for information regarding possible claims for compensation arising from the downing of UIA Flight PS 752.

We have prepared this summary of the avenues to compensation for family members impacted by the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752. The purpose of this summary is to provide family members with basic, accurate information regarding their legal situation. It is not intended to provide legal advice on any particular claim. Please contact us directly using the contact details below if you require legal advice regarding a possible claim.

Possible Avenues for Compensation

There are a number of possible avenues for compensation arising from the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS 752. One avenue is a claim against the airline, UIA, in Canada under the international conventions which govern claims against airlines on international flights. Another avenue is a claim against the State of Iran. It is also possible that family members may have a claim for travel accident insurance benefits. Because insurance policies often have a short claim period, this issue is addressed first.

Travel Accident Insurance – URGENT

If your family member purchased their airline ticket on a credit card, it is possible the card included an accidental death/life insurance policy. These policies are complex and often have short periods in which to make a claim. For instance some credit card companies require notification of a claim within 90 days of the date of the accident, and some of them have even a shorter timeline for this. In order to protect any possible claim which your family may have, you should seek legal advice immediately as to the availability of insurance, and when and how a claim can be made. If you have not already retained a lawyer, we would be pleased to review this issue with you. Please contact anyone of our legal team below for assistance.

Claims Against the Carrier Are Governed by International Conventions

Claims for compensation arising from the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 will likely be governed by international conventions – either the Montreal Convention or its predecessor the Warsaw Convention. Both Conventions have been enacted into law in Canada under the federal Carriage by Air Act.

The issue of which convention will apply to any particular case is somewhat complicated. Canada has adopted the Montreal Convention. Iran has not Iran is still governed by the Warsaw Convention. The question of which convention applies depends on a passenger’s flight itinerary.

For Canadians (and others) travelling on round trip tickets from Toronto to Kiev to Tehran and back to Canada, claims for compensation could be brought under the Montreal Convention in a Canadian court.  In legal terms, the courts of Canada would have jurisdiction over the case because Canada would be considered the country of “destination” under the Montreal Convention (notwithstanding the connection through Kiev). The courts of Canada would also likely have jurisdiction under the Warsaw Convention for any passenger whose destination on a one way ticket was Canada.

Compensation under the Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention establishes a two tiered system of liability. The carrier is strictly liable to pay compensation to a passengers’ family in the event of an “accident” for provable damages up to an initial threshold of 128,821 Special Drawing Rights ($232,000 CAD). This is the first tier of liability. For claims exceeding this amount, the onus is on the carrier to prove that the accident was not caused by negligence of the carrier. This is the second tier of liability. The precise amount of compensation payable will be determined by Canadian law. Canadian law requires individual assessment of compensation in fatal accident cases. The law varies somewhat from province to province but generally speaking, the law in each province provides for damages for the following elements:

  1. Loss of financial support that the deceased family member would have provided to their dependents over the balance of their working life
  2. Loss of valuable services the deceased family member would have provided to family members
  3. Funeral expenses

Provincial law varies significantly on compensation for bereavement. British Columbia law does not permit recovery of compensation for bereavement. Alberta law provides for bereavement damages in fixed amounts. Ontario law does not permit claims for bereavement but does provide compensation for “loss of care, guidance and companionship”.

Definition of “Accident” Under the Montreal Convention    

Based on international jurisprudence, a missile strike would likely be considered an “accident”  under the Montreal Convention so the carrier could be held liable to compensate the passengers families. The question of whether the carrier was negligent for taking off in the circumstances (or other reasons) would come into play for claims which exceed the strict liability monetary threshold. Any claim of negligence would be complicated and would almost certainly require a thorough investigation involving experts in aviation accident investigation, air safety, and risk assessment.  It is important to note that the investigations which are underway are not intended to find legal responsibility for the crash. Under ICAO rules, the purpose of the investigation is to advance aviation safety and prevent recurrence. In order to prove negligence in a court of law, expert evidence will be required.

As an example, in the case of Malaysian Airlines 17, our firm brought a claim on behalf of the family of a Canadian passenger in the courts of Ontario on the basis that the missile strike was an “accident” and the carrier was negligent for routing the flight over an active combat zone where there was a known history of surface to air missiles being used. The case eventually settled for a confidential amount.

Claims against State of Iran 

It is also possible that Canadian families may have claims against the State of Iran. There are two possible avenues for this.  The first is a “state to state” claim by the Government of Canada in the International Court of Justice based on violation of international law.   There is precedent for bringing a “state to state” claim for compensation for family members in similar cases. In the 1980s, Iran brought a claim for compensation in the ICJ against the United States as a result of  the downing in of an Iran Air flight by the USS Vincennes.  The case was resolved by way of settlement.

A second, more complex, avenue could be to proceed with a claim by family members for civil damages against the State of Iran in the courts of Canada. Past attempts to sue the state of Iran in the courts of Canada have been dismissed on the basis of state immunity.  State immunity is lifted in circumstances involving acts of terrorism which may include an offence against the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Activity against Civil Aircraft. In theory, a claim could be brought under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. This is a highly complex legal issue which involves issues of criminal law, sovereign immunity, and other international conventions. This avenue has three main disadvantages. First, the defence of state immunity must be overcome. The courts of Canada are required to consider the defence of state immunity even if Iran does not defend case. Second, it puts family members in Iran at risk of potential reprisals for making public claims of terrorism against the Iranian state. Third, it is highly unlikely the state of Iran has any assets in Canada which could be used to satisfy any judgment. The last remaining assets in Canada appear to have been seized in 2018 pursuant to a court order in order to pay a judgment issued by an American court against the Iranian state.

 Class Actions

Class actions are a means of proceeding with court claims on behalf of a group of people with common claims in one court case brought by a representative person. Subject to court approval, the representative instructs the lawyers and makes decisions on behalf of all class members. In a class action, the result in the representative case is binding on all other class members with a common claim.

We have extensive experience with class action claims but do not consider a class action to be the best option for passenger family members in the current circumstances. Our view is that the death of a family member is a serious legal matter which requires individual assessment. Family members do not have to participate in any class action. They have a right to opt out of any class action and pursue their own individual court case.

Contact CFM

Joe Fiorante, Q.C. David Jones
Direct Line: (604) 331-9521 Direct Line: (604) 331-9528
[email protected] [email protected]
   
Jamie Thornback  
Direct Line: (604) 331-9529 Main Office:  (604) 689-7555
[email protected] Email: [email protected]

Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman