May 8, 2013
Drew Hasselback, Financial Post, National Post
“This landmark decision highlights class members’ rights to debate whether or not to opt out of a class action and provides further clarity on the line between persuasive debate and coercive communication,” write Jennifer Dolman, Gillian Scott and Mary Paterson of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
The decision in 1250264 Ontario Inc. v. Pet Valu Canada Inc. is important because it confirms that the deadline for opt-out periods is effectively carved in stone. It also grants dissident plaintiffs greater liberty in how they voice their opinions over the suit. The appellate ruling reverses a lower court decision that had suggested there were circumstances in which opt-out periods could be extended beyond original expiry dates. The lower court ruling also criticized statements and tactics made by a group opposed to the lawsuit, thus suggesting that anti-lawsuit campaigns by dissident class members would be closely monitored by the court.
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