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An examination of global class action regimes after Godfrey

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Miotto Francesca
Francesca Miotto



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24 October 2019

On September 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) issued a landmark antitrust class action decision in Pioneer Corp. v Godfrey which clarified several procedural questions relating to class actions. 

Notably, the Godfrey decision addressed the following three important points:

  • Loss as a common issue. For a class action to succeed, there must be a showing that the class members were injured, but the level or even fact of injury can vary. Godfrey considered the burden to make this showing.
  • Application of the limitation period. The statute of limitations puts a time limit on when claims can be brought, but there is often a dispute about when the clock started ticking. - Umbrella purchaser claims. Umbrella damages are claims for purchases from non- cartelists whose prices may have been inflated because of the impact of the cartel on the overall market.

This article examines the difference and commonality in approach currently taken by the courts in Canada, the U.S. and the UK on each of these issues.