A class action is a court case started by one person on behalf of everyone who has the same problem. There are lots of class actions on many different issues. Some make the news, others not. You might be interested in these.
You need a judge’s permission to start a class action.
Authorized class actions
On October 18, 2019, a class action was authorized on behalf of all taxi drivers. It claims Uber’s presence reduced the value of their taxi driver’s licences.
Consumers are asking for compensation for dressers sold by Ikea between January 1, 2002, and June 28, 2016, which were recalled (see list of models recalled).
Quebec law forbids advertising aimed at children under 13. This class action accuses McDonald’s of advertising in its restaurants that its Happy Meals come with toys. All consumers who bought a Happy Meal for a child under 13 since November 15, 2013, are claiming compensation.
The manufacturer sold washers at risk of exploding. This class action covers anyone who bought top-loading Samsung or Kenmore washers in Quebec manufactured between March 1, 2011, and October 31, 2016 (see list of models).
Dieselgate exploded in 2015 with news that Volkswagen and Audi cars were fixed to fool pollution tests. The class action asks to compensate anyone living in Quebec between 2009 and 2015 for being unknowingly exposed to pollution.
Potential class actions
The organization ENvironnement JEUnesse wants to take the Canadian government to court to force it to take action against climate change. The request for authorization was filed on November 26, 2018, on behalf of all Quebec residents under 35.
There is another request to start a class action against the Canadian government. This one is on behalf of all Quebec women who were victims of sexual misconduct and harassment in the Canadian armed forces.
This class action asks to compensate people who lived in a residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD) but didn’t receive adequate, quality health care as required by law.
Recently, a major FaceTime privacy bug led a young Montrealer to ask for a class action against Apple. Users discovered they could use the camera on their devices to spy on people they call, even if the calls aren’t answered.
Millions awarded to consumers
Class actions can go on for several years, but some end up in favour of consumers. For example, manufacturers of LCD screens involved in price-fixing had to give back $37.4 million to consumers. In another case, manufacturers of furniture made with polyurethane foam had to give back $38 million. Both cases were settled out of court.
If you’re interested in any of the cases listed above, stay informed and read our article Class Actions: Getting Your Money.