A class action is a special form of lawsuit in which one plaintiff brings a claim against one or more defendants based on allegations that are common to a group, or class, of people. In order for the action to become a class action, it must first be “certified” by a judge, which means the judge has granted permission for the matter to proceed as a class action. Tyr is committed to getting the claims it brings certified in the shortest possible timeframe, usually within a year of the date the claim is commenced.
A statement of claim is issued on behalf of a “representative plaintiff”. The representative plaintiff's role is to represent the class members in court and to provide directions to class counsel where necessary.
In order for an action to proceed as a class action on behalf of the entire class, a judge must decide (among other things) whether the members of the proposed class have common issues, and whether a class action is the preferred way to resolve the issues. The process used to decide these issues is known as the “certification motion”. If the judge is satisfied that the case meets all of the requirements for certification, he or she will issue an order which certifies the action as a class action.
No. If the lawsuit is certified, and you are included in the class as defined, you are automatically included in the lawsuit.
No. We will work primarily with the class representative.
Those who do not wish to remain in the class will be given the option to opt-out of the class action by sending an opt-out form at the appropriate time to us.
Certification as a class action will enable us to prove the facts in a single lawsuit rather than in numerous individual lawsuits. This has many benefits to the class members and to the courts, including cost reduction and access to justice.
There is no set timeframe for resolving a class action. Resolutions arising from a settlement can be reached at any time in the proceeding. Tyr is committed to aggressively moving its cases forward to certification and then trial.
Many class actions settle, often after a claim has been certified, which obviates the need for a trial.
Class action lawsuits are typically brought on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyers will only be paid if the action is successful at trial or results in a settlement in favour of the plaintiffs. Legal fees would then be paid out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by a judge.
Disbursements (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses, including expert reports) may be dealt with in one of two ways.
Usually, the lawyers will absorb the cost of disbursements. The lawyers may seek funding assistance from a litigation funder or a provincial Class Proceeding Fund, which may provide funding for disbursements if granted.
In some cases, disbursements may be funded by the class members, including the class representative. This typically occurs in smaller class actions brought on behalf of an organization or network of individuals where each member of the class is easily identifiable and known to the representative plaintiff. If the class action is successful, amounts advanced for disbursements are re-paid from the proceeds of any judgment or settlement to class members (and others).
Only the class representative may be liable for costs of the “common issues” portion of the action if it is unsuccessful after trial. However, often arrangements are made so that the class representative is indemnified for any cost award made against him or her.
A “payout” or an award for damages is never certain.
The action may settle or it may proceed to trial, at which time a judge will determine the amount of damages, if any, to which the class members are entitled.
If the lawsuit is certified as a class action, a formal notice will be published explaining the nature of the case and providing you with the opportunity to opt out if you wish. General information about the lawsuit will be posted on Tyr's website.
We ask that you keep a copy of any documents, correspondence, records, invoices, receipts, etc. that you feel might be relevant to your individual claim in the class action. If there is a “payout,” this documentation may be required in order to support your claim for compensation.
It is not required that you send any documents to us at this time.