Friday, November 27, 2009

Update to Class Action Lawsuit Against BMW and Mercedes-Benz

If you have imported a BMW or Mercedes-Benz vehicle from the United States into Canada and have had to pay fees for letters of admissibility, recall clearance and/or BMW and Mercedes-Benz mandated modifications, this update may affect you:


The class action lawsuit is awaiting scheduling of the certification hearing in Ontario. There are a few important stages in a class action proceeding, the first of which is known as certification. In the certification stage, the court determines whether the lawsuit can proceed as a class proceeding.

People do not have an automatic right to pursue class action lawsuits. The court has to first give permission to proceed as a class action. Otherwise claimants have to sue on their own. The court determines whether to give permission or certify a lawsuit as a class proceeding at the certification stage.

The court will examine several factors in making this decision and will certify a class proceeding if the following conditions are met:

* the pleadings disclose a cause of action;

* there is an identifiable class of two or more persons that would be represented by the representative plaintiff;

* the claims of the class members raise common issues;

* a class proceeding would be the preferable procedure for the resolution of the common issues; and

* there is a representative plaintiff who,

(i) would fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class,

(ii) has produced a plan for the proceeding that sets out a workable method of advancing the proceeding on behalf of the class and of notifying class members of the proceeding, and

(iii) does not have, on the common issues for the class, an interest in conflict with the interests of other class members.

These issues are adjudicated at the certification hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The claim is being put forward to represent all persons in all provinces and territories in Canada who have incurred losses as a result of the alleged conduct.


Questions and comments may be posted to this blog or e-mailed directly to Your questions and responses - if determined to be relevant to other importers - may be posted on this blog for others to review.