Halifax Class Action Lawyers Helping Victims Come Together And Seek Justice
In most lawsuits a single person, the plaintiff, files a lawsuit to pursue a claim, but if the defendant is a large company or institution or government, they may have much greater resources to fight a claim brought by a single plaintiff.
A class action lawsuit helps level the playing field because all of the plaintiffs who have been harmed join together to pursue a single claim against the defendant.
Many class action cases are filed by plaintiffs who have been harmed as a result of historical abuse, discrimination, defective products or some form of unfair treatment. The class members all share the same goal: to recover compensation for their harms and losses.
If you want to file a class action lawsuit—or would like to participate in an existing class action lawsuit—contact our class action lawyers at McKiggan Hebert. Call (902) 423-2050 now to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.
What Are Class Action Lawsuits in Nova Scotia?
Most personal injury lawsuits involve one plaintiff and one defendant, but the rules are different in class action lawsuits. In a class action lawsuit, one person (or a small group of people) bring forward a claim on behalf of a larger group of plaintiffs. The court will review the case and determine whether or not it should be certified as a class action case. If it is certified as a class action case, each plaintiff will have an equal right to recover compensation from the defendant if it is ordered by the court.
If you’re thinking about filing a class action lawsuit, turn to the team of experienced class action lawyers at McKiggan Hebert.
Current Class Action Lawsuits
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers and Koskie Minsky LLP have served the Province of Nova Scotia with notice of a proposed class action against the Province on behalf of persons who have been discriminated against by being denied services under the Disability Support Program for any period of time since April 1, 1998.
Pictou Landing First Nation Secret MRI Class Action
McKiggan Hebert has filed a class action lawsuit against two Halifax medical researchers, Dr. Robert Miller and Dr. Sharon Clarke, who conducted research on 61 members of the Pictou Landing First Nation, including Chief Andrea Paul, without their knowledge or consent.
In March 2017, volunteers went to Halifax’s Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for a medical study by the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM).
However, after the MRI scans were taken for the CAHHM study, participants were left in the chamber where further MRI scans were taken as part of a study designed by the two defendants. The participants were unaware of the study and had not consented to the additional MRI scans.
Participants were selected for the study because they were Indigenous. The MRI scans for the secret study were kept by the defendants and the results were presented to a conference of radiologists in Halifax and formed the basis of a research paper entitled “MRI Findings of Liver Disease in an Atlantic Canada First Nations Population”. No results were given to the participants, not even to those whose MRI scans revealed a medical issue requiring medical treatment.
Solitary confinement is when an inmate is segregated in an individual cell for twenty-three hours a day; often, for weeks or months at a time. Being in an extended solitary confinement situation denies an inmate of their basic privacy or consequential human contact; it also subjects them to unnatural light for the entire day.
For decades, studies have shown that solitary confinement can bring serious physical and psychological injury to an inmate’s health. The Class Action filed by McKiggan Hebert charges that the use of solitary confinement by the Province of Nova Scotia was negligent and was a breach of the Province’s duties to inmates under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
McKiggan Hebert has been retained by a group of survivors who allege they were sexually abused by former Saint John police officer Kenneth Estabrook. The class action against the City of Saint John alleges that former Saint John police officer Ken Estabrooks sexually abused hundreds of children during his employment with the Saint John Police Force and City Works Department. The class action alleges the City of Saint John was negligent and breached its fiduciary duty to class members. The claim also alleges the City of Saint John is vicariously liable for the sexual abuse by Kenneth Estabrooks.
The class action was certified by order of Justice Grant of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick. The common issues trial was heard in Saint John in June 2022. Justice Grant ruled that the City of Saint John was vicariously liable for acts of sexual abuse by Kenneth Estabrooks against fellow employees from 1975 to 1983. Justice Grant ruled the City was not vicariously liable for Kenneth Estabrooks acts of sexual abuse while he was a police officer from 1953 to 1975.
The Plaintiffs have appealed the finding that the City was not responsible for Estabrooks’ sexual abuse while he was a police officer.
John McKiggan KC has received national recognition for his work over the past 30 years representing the survivors of childhood sexual abuse. He is the author of Breaking the Silence: The Survivors’ Guide to Abuse Claims in Canada.
McKiggan Hebert has been retained to pursue a claim on behalf of persons who were sexually abused by priests employed by the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.
The class action has been settled and the settlement has been approved by order of Justice Brothers of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
To learn more details about the Archdiocese of Halifax Yarmouth Sexual Abuse settlement, click here.
The class action claims the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Yarmouth, more commonly know as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth had a decades long policy of covering up allegations of sexual abuse by its priests.
John McKiggan K.C. has received national recognition for his work over the past 30 years representing the survivors of childhood sexual abuse. He is the author of Breaking the Silence: The Survivors’ Guide to Abuse Claims in Canada.
If you believe you may be a class member or would like more information about the class action you can contact us using the form on this page.
McKiggan Hebert (Halifax) and Fidelis Law-Droit (Moncton) have filed a proposed class action against the Moncton City Hospital and Nurse Nicole Ruest. The class action has been filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick.
The class action alleges that Nicole Ruest, a nurse employed in the labor and delivery unit of the Moncton Hospital gave oxytocin to mothers in labour without their knowledge or consent. The claim alleges the oxytocin caused dangerous drops in their babies’ fetal heart rate. As a result, mothers were forced to undergo unnecessary emergency c-sections or instrument assisted deliveries causing injuries to the mothers and the children.
The certification hearing was adjourned after the first day of evidence as a result of new evidence being provided to the Plaintiffs. The certification hearing is scheduled to continue in February 2023.
If you believe you may be a class member or would like more information about this class action you can contact us using the form on this page.
McKiggan Hebert (Halifax) and Foster & Company (Fredericton) had been retained to file a proposed class action against Fredericton Myoflex Massage & Rejuvenation Clinic, Jolanta Kurz, the owner and manager of Myoflex Massage and the Estate of Pierre Wust.
The class action alleges that Wust, a massage therapist at Myoflex Massage clinic, secretly video taped female patients while they were naked and in various stages of undress without their knowledge or consent.
The class action alleges that the owner and manager of the Myoflex Clinic was negligent and is vicariously liable for Wust’s actions.
If you were a female patient of massage therapist Wust you can contact us for more information on this page.
Scouts Canada is a program designed to teach young people leadership skills and give them the opportunity to make meaningful memories in their youth. Over the past several years, however, an independent investigation revealed that Scouts Canada had covered up dozens of cases of sexual abuse within the organization that dated as far back as the 1950s.
If you were sexually abused by a member of the Scouts Canada organization, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to the Boy Scout abuse lawyers at McKiggan Hebert as soon as possible to discuss your rights and legal options.
More Information About Class Actions
What Factors Does the Court Consider During the Certification Hearing?
The court must determine whether or not a claim can move forward as a class action lawsuit. This decision is made during what is called a certification hearing. During this hearing, the court will take a number of factors into consideration, including:
- Whether there is an actual cause of action;
- Whether there is an identifiable class of plaintiffs who can participate in the lawsuit;
- Any legal issues that are common to all of the class members;
- Whether or not a class action is the best way to resolve the plaintiffs’ cases; and
- Whether the proposed representative plaintiff is capable of representing all plaintiffs involved in the case.
The court will decide if the case should be certified as a class action lawsuit after reviewing all these factors.
What Happens After A Certification Hearing?
If a case is certified as a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs may begin negotiating with the defendant to reach a settlement. The defendant may settle with the plaintiffs outside of the courtroom to avoid the time and cost of taking the case to trial. However, if both sides cannot agree on a settlement, the class action lawsuit will proceed to a “common issues trial” where the court will make a binding decision on all the legal issues that are common to all the class members.
What Are the Benefits of Filing A Class Action Lawsuit?
The biggest advantage to proceeding with a class action is leverage. A single plaintiff, by themselves, may not have the resources to fight a claim against a huge well-resourced defendant. They have no leverage to negotiate a favourable settlement, but if the defendant faces the risk of a much larger judgement on behalf of hundreds of class members it provides the plaintiffs with more leverage to settle the claim.
There are a number of benefits to filing a class action lawsuit instead of taking legal action on your own. If each victim files a separate lawsuit, each victim will have to prove the defendant is liable in their case. This means liability must be proved over and over and over again in order for every victim to win their case and recover compensation, but if these victims come together and file a class action lawsuit, they only need to prove liability once.
Usually it makes sense to file a class action rather than an individual lawsuit if the damages suffered by each victim are not sufficient enough to make an individual lawsuit economically viable. In other words, if the amount of the individual claim is relatively small there may not be enough money recovered to pay for the cost of the legal expenses involved in pursuing the claim.
No amount of compensation may be able to change the harm you have suffered, but filing a class action lawsuit can help victims recover compensation for the harms and losses they have endured.
Seek Legal Representation From the Class Action Lawyers At McKiggan Hebert
Are you a member of a group of people that has been harmed by the same party? If so, you need to seek legal representation from a skilled class action lawyer at McKiggan Hebert as soon as possible. You have the right to join forces with other victims to file a class action lawsuit against the party that caused you harm—and we can help.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Halifax have received national recognition for the class action lawsuits we have pursued on behalf of our clients. These cases are complex, but we know what it takes to reach the best possible outcome for victims.
To book your free consultation, call McKiggan Hebert at (902) 423-2050 or submit your information using the form on this website.