A class action lawsuit is where one person (or a small group of people) brings forward a claim on behalf of a large number of people with similar claims. If the court agrees to certify the lawsuit as a class action, all class members have an equal say and right to receive compensation as determined by the court.
There are a number of factors the courts consider when deciding whether to allow a class action claim to proceed. For example:
- The number of plaintiffs;
- Whether there are common legal issues or common damages;
- Whether the representative plaintiff (or plaintiffs) will adequately protect and represent the interests of the entire class.
The primary goal of class actions is to provide cost effective access to justice.
More Educational Resources About Class Actions
- Goals of Class Action Legislation
- How is a Class Action Certified?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Class Actions
We are currently involved in litigation and/or investigating the following claims:
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers & Valent Legal have filed a class action against the province of Nova Scotia for damages for breach of Charter Rights for the excessive use of solitary confinement in provincially run correctional facilities.
The Notice of Action claims that the Province of Nova Scotia has been negligent and has breached the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by placing prisoners in solitary confinement for extended periods of time.
The class includes all prisoners who were placed in solitary confinement for more than 15 days during their incarceration in a provincially run correctional facility.
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers in Halifax has filed a class action against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth on behalf of persons who allege they were sexually abused by priests from the Archdiocese from 1960 to date.
The class action, filed by Douglas Champagne on behalf of other sexual abuse survivors, claims that the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth, more commonly known as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, had a decades long policy of secrecy of any allegations of sexual abuse against a priest.
You can also read more about the story here.
A recent story described what Roman Catholic Archbishop Anthony Mancini has spent most of his 11 years as head of the Halifax-Yarmouth diocese dealing with. He said, “I can’t talk about what’s happening in Pennsylvania or talk about what’s happening in Chile or what’s happening in Australia, but it’s been happening in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the last 40, 50 years. So we’re not immune to this stuff.”
“It’s been happening and we’ve been dealing with this over the last number of years. I’ve been here just about 11 years and this has been one of the primary issues that I’ve dealt with and continue to deal with during the whole ministry that I’ve exercised here.”
Mancini also said, “If you’ve been abused, call the police, call the authorities. We want to deal with it. Why? Not because I like litigation. Not because I care about fighting with lawyers or any of this kind of stuff. It’s because it’s necessary. Because the church is in crisis.”
Read the rest of what Mancini had to say in the CBC.
John McKiggan Q.C. has been retained to pursue a proposed class action on behalf of current and former gay and lesbian members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence in Atlantic Canada who were intimidated, harassed, discriminated against and forced out of the Armed Forces and D.N.D. due to their sexual orientation.
*As of November 24, 2017, an Agreement In Principle settlement was reached in this case. Read about the settlement here.
John McKiggan Q.C. has been retained by survivors who allege they were sexually abused by former Saint John police officer and city worker Kenneth Estabrooks.
$2 Billion for Survivors of Indian Residential Schools including Shubenacadie Indian Residential School
John McKiggan represented more than 600 former members of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential school as part of the steering committee for the Baxter v. Canada national class action. The Baxter class action is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and provided a fund of 2 billion dollars to compensate up to eighty thousand former students of Indian Residential Schools across Canada.
You can click here to watch a Powerpoint slide show of a presentation that John McKiggan was asked to give to the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society conference on Class Action Litigation on the topic: Playing at the National Stage Pitfalls and Success.
$14 Million for Antigonish Diocese Priest Abuse Class Action:
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers represents survivors of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, Father Hugh Vincent MacDonald, Father Clair Richard, Father Claude Richard, Father James Mombourquette and Father Frank MacNeil who were employed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.