604-689-7555 or 1-800-689-2322
VIEW ACTIVE CLASS ACTIONS

43. I do not agree with giving Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier extra compensation. What do I do?

43. I do not agree with giving Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier extra compensation. What do I do?

First, please contact Class Counsel by emailing or phoning Kimberley Hill at khill@cfmlawyers.ca or 1-800-689-2322. Class Counsel may be able to answer your question or resolve your concern.

You may also consider participating in the webcast “town hall” meeting (see FAQ#51) or listening to the recorded webcast (audio only) (see FAQ#54).

If you still do not agree, you have the right to object to the Court. The Court will consider any comments or objections it receives. You can object by sending your objection in writing to Class Counsel (see FAQ#44 for names and addresses) by July 17, 2015.

You can also come to the Court hearing. It will be held on July 24, 2015, starting at 10:00 a.m., in the Vancouver Courthouse at 800 Smithe Street. If you come, you may be allowed to speak to the Court.

42. Why are you asking for extra compensation for Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier?

Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier have done a lot of work on your behalf. Unless we ask the Court to give them extra compensation, they do not get anything for doing all this work. They just get the same amount as all other claimants.

In 2008, Mr. Weldon took on a leadership role when he learned that other non-union employees at Trail Operations who had transferred to DC Plan shared his unhappiness with how far their prospective pensions were falling behind those of employees who had stayed on the DB Plan. He was instrumental in gathering together some of those employees to raise those concerns with Cominco management.

When Cominco management did not respond to those concerns he led the fundraising needed for legal advice. He then volunteered to be the representative plaintiff despite the fact that, as a current Cominco employee, he had apprehensions about the impact of suing Cominco on his employment at Cominco (to Cominco’s credit, it turned out not to have any effect on his employment).

Starting the lawsuit in Mr. Weldon’s name exposed him to the risk of legal costs as the action proceeded.

As representative plaintiff Mr. Weldon received and acted on all of Class Counsel’s requests for information. In particular he took on the time-consuming and difficult task of finding employees who had transferred to the DC Plan (most of whom he did not know well, or at all) and persuading enough of them to provide personal information to Class Counsel for us to estimate class members’ losses.

After the BC Court of Appeal issued its decision limiting the causes of action on which the action could proceed, Mr. Bleier volunteered to act as a representative plaintiff for the employees who had retired before 2009. Mr. Bleier volunteered and therefore also incurred a potential liability for costs.

Mr. Bleier also worked with Class Counsel to contact other employees and to find class members for whom no contact information was available.

Both Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier acted as the communicators between Class Counsel and class members. They arranged meetings for Class Counsel with plan members in Trail to gather information and identify possible trial witnesses.

Both Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier were examined for discovery. This means that they had to travel to Vancouver to answer the defendants’ questions under oath. Ahead of time they had to review many documents.

Because the tentative settlement was not concluded until a few days before trial, both Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier had already travelled to Vancouver and prepared to be witnesses at trial.

When settlement negotiations were ongoing, they both had to make themselves available to discuss whether the settlement proposals were acceptable from the perspective of the class – not from their own perspective. This required Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier to learn legal concepts and make their decisions after considering all of the risks of continuing the action rather than settling.

The contributions of Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier did not end with the settlement of the action. They have continued to assist Class Counsel in reviewing drafts of all our communications with class members. We expect they will continue to help class members obtain accurate information about the settlement and the proposed plan to distribute the settlement funds.

Class Counsel think Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier have been exemplary representative plaintiffs and have worked diligently to support this action. It would have been significantly more difficult for Class Counsel to conduct this action without their contributions of their time, effort organizing skills and good judgment. For all of this, Class Counsel think it is more fair for Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier to get some extra compensation.

41. Why do Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier get to decide on what happens in the lawsuit?

The way a class action works is that one or a couple of people, called representative plaintiffs, do all the work for all the class members.

In this lawsuit, there are a few hundred class members. In a lawsuit that is not a class action, all the plaintiffs have to agree for anything to happen. It would not be possible to get all of the class members to agree on anything in a reasonable period of time. Because of this, class actions have representative plaintiffs instead.

The representative plaintiffs have to do a substantial amount of work. They meet with the lawyers, answer questions that the lawyers or other class members have, and generally make themselves available. In exchange for doing all of this work, they get to decide what happens in the lawsuit.

40. Who are Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bleier?

James Weldon is a current employee of Teck Metals and Leonard Bleier is a retired employee. They agreed to be the “representative plaintiffs” for this lawsuit. That means that they did everything needed to keep this lawsuit going, so that each individual class member did not have to do anything.

They have put in many days organizing this lawsuit, talking with us, meeting with the defendants, answering your questions, and doing the many other things to keep this lawsuit going.

BACK TO TOP