Court of Appeal Ruling Endorses Aggregate Damages Awards in Class Proceedings and Provides Guidance to Consumer Protection Act Misrepresentation Claims
The Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) may have made it easier for consumers to bring class actions based on misrepresentations made by companies. In its latest decision in the ongoing class action litigation in Ramdath v. George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology, the Court clarified the causation requirement for unfair practice claims (including misrepresentation) under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (Ontario) (the “Act”) and confirmed the court’s authority to award aggregate damages awards where individual damages cannot be assessed. This case marks the first award of aggregate damages in Ontario, and may have important implications for Canadian companies defending class proceedings in Canada. A similar approach may be taken in other Canadian provinces having comparable consumer protection statutes.