What is a class action?
A class action is a legal proceeding commenced by a representative plaintiff on behalf of themselves and a group or class of people who fall under the same definition of a proposed class. The size of the class depends on the number of people affected by the issue. Class actions permit a large number of people to have access to the legal system in circumstances that would be too complex or costly for one person to bring an action on their own.
VSLO’s experience with class actions
We have been involved in class actions related to circumstances arising out of current or former employment relationships. Specifically, we act on behalf of pension plan members as a result of a conversion from a defined benefit to a defined contribution pension plan. We also represent retirees in relation to health benefits received following retirement.
This action was brought against the Province of British Columbia and the British Columbia College of Teachers (the “College“) on behalf of former employees of the College who had their employment terminated without cause in or around January 2012 by the dissolution of the College.
This action was brought against Weyerhaeuser Company limited on behalf of former salaried, non-unionized employees of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited and its predecessor MacMillan Bloedel Limited with respect to retiree benefits.
This action was brought against TimberWest Forest Corp on behalf of former salaried, non-unionized employees of TimberWest Forest Corp and its predecessor with respect to retiree benefits.
This class action alleges that the defendants breached their duty of good faith, fiduciary and statutory duties, and were deceitful and negligent in their conduct prior to each class member’s election to transfer from the defined benefit pension plan to the defined contribution pension plan.
On June 17, on behalf of the class members we opposed SNFW’s application for extension to file a proposal. We opposed on two main grounds. First, because SNFW readily admitted they were likely not going to file a proposal, there was no point in granting an extension. Second, we argued that the termination of employees on the eve of filing was a strategic measure undertaken to undermine the rights of employees to the benefit of SNFW. Justice Fitzpatrick did not accept either of our arguments and granted an extension.