May 15, 2015
In early 2015, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the B.C. Supreme Court’s class certification in Charlton vs. Abbott Laboratories—a decision that may induce higher standards in certifying class actions against pharmaceutical companies. Torys’ partner and accomplished class actions litigator Sylvie Rodrigue commented in a Law Times piece on the possible implications of the decision amid the current state of pharmaceutical class actions in Canada’s legal environment. Below is an excerpt of the article.
Sylvie Rodrigue, who practices out of Torys LLP’s offices in Toronto and Montréal, says Charlton is a good example of a “gatekeeper" case.
The Court of Appeal did exactly what judges should be doing because it’s important for the plaintiffs to establish that certifying will advance the case for the entire class,” she says.
“Some judges, particularly in Ontario, have been watering the test down to the point where the defence bar feels that the courts are abdicating their role as gatekeepers.”