Delays plaguing personal injury class actions

Posted September 10, 2019
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The Law Commission of Ontario recently released a report evaluating the effectiveness of the Class Proceedings Act and found that delays are plaguing the process.

“The biggest problem in litigation, both personal injury and class action, is delay,” says Darcy Merkur, a personal injury lawyer and partner at Thomson Rogers Lawyers in Toronto.

Delays are a problem in class actions according to “virtually everyone” the LCO consulted, said the report. The LCO recommends a one-year deadline for scheduling certification motion and filing plaintiff motion material, an automatic dismissal and costs provision for plaintiff firms that waste time, amendments to enhance court case-management authority and other measures to improve case management.

Delays are a problem that span all practice areas, require judicial resources and, Merkur says, speeding up certification is just chapter one of the process.

“Now all that’s good. It doesn’t solve the problem of realistically having to tell a representative plaintiff that you can realistically expect a defendant who wants to delay and dispute everything — it’ll take us eight to 10 years to get in front of a judge with authority to make some decisions on the merits.”

Read the full article as it appeared in the September 8, 2019, issue of Law Times Delays plaguing personal injury class actions