“Class actions are lawsuits in which the claims and rights of many people, defined as having common but no identical interests, are decided in a single court proceeding brought by representative plaintiffs, or representatives of the class.” (See http://www.classaction.ca/about-siskinds.aspx for more about class action lawsuits)The action came about following a fire that took place on September 24th 2010 at 200 Wellesley East in Toronto.
Six hundred tenants will share 4.85 million dollars to compensate for property damages and injuries.The fire was caused after a discarded cigarette landed on the balcony of a 24th floor unit. That unit had an excessive amount of combustible material on it. The unit’s occupant, who was identified by investigators as a hoarder, had previously complained to property management that someone was tossing cigarette butts on his balcony.
It is reported that the case is the fastest to be resolved in Ontario history.The Ontario Class Proceedings Act came into effect twenty years ago. According to Brian Shell, lawyer for the tenants:
“It was designed to bring access to justice to people who otherwise would not be able to get any,” Shell said. “It was not designed for lawyers to make huge amounts of money and for many thousands of people to recover $40,” Shell told the Star.
Read the Toronto Star story at http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/09/30/200_wellesley_st_fire_600_tenants_to_share_in_485m_compensation.html
(This story was originally published on September 30 at www.hamiltonjustice.ca)