In O’Neill v General Motors of Canada Ltd., 2013 ONSC 4654, a motion for partial summary judgment was granted in a class action by retired employees of GM after their health care and life insurance benefits were substantially reduced to offset GM’s financial difficulties. Just prior to the scheduled trial of an appeal and cross-appeal in June 2014, the parties settled the matter in its entirety. The proposed settlement required GM to establish a $9 million fund for past life and health claims and to restore most of the class members’ health and life insurance benefits effective September 1, 2014. It secured compensation for all 3200 class members, despite the fact that the claims of some members were less certain that others. On August 27, 2014, the settlement was approved by an Ontario court in O’Neill v General Motors of Canada, 2014 ONSC 4742 on the basis that it provided a real and immediate benefit to class members in terms of the compensation provided and the avoidance of further appeal proceedings.
In Scott v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCSC 1651, a British Columbia judge allowed a proposed class action to proceed over the objections of the federal Attorney General that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action. The action claimed that members and former members of the Canadian Forces injured in the course of duty had been provided with inadequate support and had suffered discrimination with respect to their benefits and compensation under the government’s New Veterans Charter. The Attorney General appealed the denial of its motion to strike out the claim. Its appeal was set down for hearing by the British Columbia Court of Appeal on December 3, 2014.