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Alberta Litigation: How Class Action Lawsuits Work

As a follow up to our last article about class actions in the employment context, we had a number of discussions arising out of that. We thought people might have some interest in learning how the Class Action Process works in Alberta.

A Class Action lawsuit in Alberta is brought under the Class Proceedings Act, (Statutes of Alberta, 2003 Chapter C-16.5). A Class is basically two or more persons with common issues relating to their right to sue someone. One or more persons will be the representative plaintiffs and advance a lawsuit on behalf of a larger class. Alberta has an "Opt-Out" clause in its legislation which means that non-residents have to actively take steps not to be included. This can lead to a much larger class.

The First step which has to take place is Certification. Once that is done then the litigation is carried out. Finally, after judgment or a settlement is achieved, there is a Claims Administration phase in which an independent Claims administrator is appointed to process the claims individually.

Class Action Lawsuits are an effective way to put pressure on a larger entity. People and organizations can use numbers to counter size and money advantages of larger organizations in order to achieve resolution of their claim.

If you wish to discuss potential class action litigation with us, please feel free to contact us.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.

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