Class Action Law Bulletin: Green Light for Class Actions by Consumers

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In a highly-anticipated and extremely significant pair of decisions for businesses and consumers alike, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) ruled on Thursday (October 31, 2013) that the ultimate consumers at the end of a supply chain can effectively leap-frog the supply chain by having direct legal recourse in a class action against a manufacturer who illegally overcharged for the product supplied.

The SCC handed down simultaneous decisions in two appeals from the British Columbia Court of Appeal, namely Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Microsoft Corporation, 2013 SCC 57 and Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland Company, 2013 SCC 58 (as well as a related decision from Quebec).

Until these decisions, Canadian law did not support a cause of action by indirect purchasers against manufacturers or suppliers one or more times removed up the supply chain. While these cases have received attention for changing that law, they are significant for a number of reasons and to a number of classes of persons.

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Published In: General Business Updates, Consumer Protection Updates, Products Liability Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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