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Gauthier v. United Parcel Service of Canada Ltd.

Fasken
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United Parcel Service of Canada Ltd.

On March 6, 2013, the Honourable Justice William Fraiberg of the Quebec Superior Court rendered a unique decision limiting class actions in an important way. By their very nature, class actions include groups of individuals (in this case consumers). In the case of United Parcel Service du Canada Ltée (UPS), over thirty million transactions are affected by class actions brought against it, and there are thus an unending supply of Plaintiffs over time. If a first class action fails, a new group of consumers for a different time period can easily be found. However, Justice Fraiberg, has put an end to serial class actions which raise the same issues but for differently constituted groups of consumers. He did so by declaring a second class action brought against UPS res judicata or chose jugée. This is an important decision not only because it is the first of its kind, but because it sends a clear message to the legal community and public at large that a judgement rendered on the motion for authorisation must dispose only once of all substantially similar motions that can be instituted against a defendant based on the same facts. In effect, the Superior Court has confirmed that a defendant cannot be held hostage by successive would-be representatives of alleged victims disingenuously claiming to be parties who are different from earlier alleged victims simply because they suffered the damages after the last dismissal judgment invoked against them. UPS was represented by senior co-counsel John Campion (Toronto) and Eleni Yiannakis (Montréal) and assisting co-counsels Noah Boudreau (Montréal), Antonio Di Domenico (Toronto) and Robin P. Roddey (Toronto). Click to consult the decision

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