Rainbow

Rainbow

Friday, February 12, 2010

B.C. Court certifies expropriation-related class action

The British Columbia Supreme Court has certified a class action commenced by business and property owners in Vancouver who claim damages resulting from the construction of a rapid transit link. Class action lawsuits in Canada are just regular lawsuits until they are certified as a class proceeding by a court. The Court must be satisfied that a class action is the "preferable" procedure (rather than each individual claimant bringing its own lawsuit).

In this case, the claim was that the choice of constructing a tunnel using the cut and cover method rather than by boring the tunnel led to significant property and business loss (a "nuisance"). The Court agreed to certify the action as a class action, with the common issues to be determined (for all members of the class) to include: were damages caused by the choice of construction method?; was the interference authorized by law?; even if there was authorization, was the damage suffered injurious affection that can be compensated under expropriation legislation? (see my recent post on the Antrim Truck decision of the Ontario Divisional Court)

Now that the action is certified as a class proceeding, it can go forward through the normal lawsuit process to a trial.

Read the decision at:
http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2010/2010bcsc163/2010bcsc163.html