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Class Action Updates

February 14, 2018

Settlements have been reached with the TEAC, NEC and Hitachi-LG Defendants.

January 5, 2018

The trial phase of this action has commenced. The parties have agreed to a modified trial structure where the cases-in-chief will be exchanged in writing,…

November 7, 2017

Settlements have been reached with the defendants in the following actions: Automotive Wire Harness Systems: Yazaki Systems Technologies GmbH (formerly S-Y Systems Technologies Europe, GmbH)…

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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.

Posted in: Questions about the Representative Plaintiffs, Teck/Cominco Class Action FAQs

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