What is a Cause of Action?
A “cause of action” is the legal basis for the lawsuit. In other words, is there a claim that is sufficient to justify the attention or assistance of the court?
What’s the Test?
The test for determining whether the cause of action requirement has been met under class proceedings legislation is whether the pleadings disclose a reasonable cause of action.
What Does “Reasonable” Mean?
In order to prove that there is a reasonable cause of action, a class member does not have to be able to satisfy the court that they are going to win.
The allegations of fact pleaded in the claim must be accepted as proven or true (unless they are patently ridiculous and incapable of proof), and the Statement of Claim must be read generously, with a view to accommodating inadequacies of form.
In other words, the judge has to ask: “If the facts in the statement of claim are true, is the claim reasonable?” If the answer to that question is yes, then there is a reasonable cause of action.