Ontario Civil

Civil Procedure

Human Rights Code did not apply to distribution schemes or settlements under Class Proceedings Act, 1992

Plaintiffs were representative plaintiffs in two actions in Ontario that were certified under Class Proceedings Act, 1992. There were parallel proceedings in British Columbia and Quebec. Actions concerned allegations that defendants conspired to fix prices in dynamic random access memory devices. Claims were for breach of Competition Act, civil conspiracy and tortious interference with economic interests. Actions had been ongoing for many years and progressive settlements had been reached. Actions had entered into administrative phase pursuant to distribution protocol that was approved by courts in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. It was alleged that distribution protocol contravened Human Rights Code by discriminating against class members by providing adverse, differential treatment toward them based solely on personal characteristics of family status and marital status. Motion for directions was before court. Order accordingly. Code did not apply to distribution schemes or settlements under proceedings act. Distribution protocol had been held to be fair, reasonable and in best interests of class members. However, at time of fairness hearing distribution protocol was not considered through lens of Code. Code was quasi-constitutional legislation that should be given broad and purposive interpretation. Judgment proceeds were compensation for civil wrong and injured class member did not receive service when they received money that was meant to restore them to position they were in had civil wrong not occurred. Class members alleged that they had paid too much for products with DRAM because of alleged price-fixing of defendants. Defendants did not admit liability but agreed to pay $80 million to class members. Distribution of those funds was not distribution of service but was compensation for settling price-fixing complaint. Code did not apply to distribution protocol in class action that was approved by courts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. If Code had been applicable then distribution protocol did not contravene it. Administration of class action should continue.

Eidoo v. Infineon Technologies AG (Sep. 2, 2015, Ont. S.C.J.,

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