Statements of Claim are filed and served in Ontario, Québec, Alberta and Saskatchewan on behalf of approximately 135,000 hard-working Canadian cattle producers from coast-to-coast naming the government of Canada (“Crown”), Ridley Corporation Limited and Ridley Inc. as defendants.
The initial case conference in the Ontario action is held before Regional Senior Justice Warren Winkler. He determines that the defendants’ motions to strike the claim are to be heard before the certification motion.
A preliminary motion in the Ontario action is argued by the plaintiff and the Crown before Master Calum MacLeod to determine the proper form and content of the statement of claim. Split result; no costs awarded on consent.
The defendants’ motions to strike the claim in the Ontario action are argued for two days before Regional Senior Justice Winkler. He reserves his decision.
Justice Winkler releases his decision. The claim is struck against Ridley Corporation Limited. Justice Winkler finds that “there are no material facts alleged regarding conduct ‘akin to fraud’ on the part of Ridley Corporation Limited that would justify a piercing of the corporate veil”. The plaintiffs and Ridley Corporation Limited agree to a national dismissal of the claims in all four actions as against Ridley Corporation Limited on a without costs basis.
The motions to strike the claim by Ridley Inc. and the Crown are dismissed.
The motions by the Crown and Ridley Inc. to stay the Québec action pending the final result of the Ontario action are argued before Justice Richard Wagner.
Justice Wagner releases his decision. He finds that the interests of justice require that the Québec action be allowed to continue.
Justice Marie-France Bich of the Québec Court of Appeal refuses to allow the Crown and Ridley Inc. leave to appeal Justice Wagner’s decision.
The motion in Quebec for authorisation as a class action is argued over three days before Justice Richard Wagner.
The appeals from the decision of Regional Senior Justice Winkler refusing to strike the claim are argued over two days before the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Justice Richard Wagner releases his decision authorising the Québec action as a class action against the Crown and Ridley Inc. The defendants have no right of appeal.
Justice Stephen Goudge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario releases the court’s decision denying the appeals of the Crown and Ridley Inc. The Crown and Ridley Inc. apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The plaintiffs in all four actions (Ontario, Québec, Alberta and Saskatchewan) enter into a ‘Mary Carter’ agreement with Ridley Inc. The potential liability of Ridley is capped at $6M, to be paid into a trust fund designed to provide financial support for the ongoing actions against the Crown. Ridley remains as a defendant in the actions. The plaintiffs and Ridley agree to cooperate going forward.
The Supreme Court of Canada stays the applications for leave to appeal by Ridley and the Crown of the decision by the Court of Appeal for Ontario upholding Justice Winkler’s refusal to strike the claim, pending the release of the decision in Holland v. Saskatchewan, to be argued before the Supreme Court on May 21, 2008.
The statement of claim in the Ontario action is amended to include the cattle producers of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Crown’s motion in the Quebec action to strike certain documents and portions of the claim, and for further information to be provided to the Crown by the plaintiff, is argued before Justice Richard Wagner.
The contested Ontario motion for certification against the Crown and the consent motion for certification and approval of the agreement with Ridley are argued over three days before Justice Joan Lax.
The Supreme Court of Canada releases their decision in Holland v. Saskatchewan and subsequently denies leave to appeal to the federal Crown and Ridley in the Ontario proceeding.
Justice Richard Wagner releases his amended decision striking certain allegations against the federal Crown in the Quebec proceeding. His Honour determines that the action was only authorized as a class action in Quebec to the extent that the plaintiff is able to establish gross negligence, gross fault or bad faith on the part of the federal Crown. His Honour also orders that further particulars of the allegations are to be provide to the Crown.
Justice Jacques Chamberland of the Quebec Court of Appeal releases his decision denying leave to appeal from the decision of Justice Wagner to strike portions of the Quebec claim. Justice Chamberland finds that the plaintiff is estopped from making the argument that mere negligence engages the civil liability of the federal Crown in the Quebec action.
Justice Joan Lax releases her decision certifying the action as a class action against the federal Crown on behalf of the Ontario National Class, and approving the settlement with Ridley. Following the reasoning of Justice Winkler and the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Justice Lax approves as a common issue the question of whether the federal Crown was negligent.
Justice Richard Wagner approves the amended settlement with Ridley on behalf of the Quebec class.
The federal Crown’s application for leave to appeal the order of Justice Lax certifying the action as a class action on behalf of the Ontario National Class is heard by Justice Janet Wilson of the Ontario Divisional Court.
Justice Wilson releases her decision denying leave to appeal to the federal Crown. The order of Justice Lax certifying the action as a class action against the federal Crown on behalf of the Ontario National Class is thereby made final.
The Ontario statement of claim is amended to include a claim of misfeasance in public office against the federal Crown.
$6M is paid by Ridley into the BSE Class Action Fund to be used to fund the ongoing BSE litigation against the federal Crown.
Justice Lax amends the September 2008 certification order to include as a common issue for trial the question of whether the federal Crown is liable for misfeasance.
The federal Crown requests and is provided with particulars of the allegations of misfeasance.
The federal Crown files and serves a Statement of Defence in the Ontario action.
The federal Crown provides particulars of the Statement of Defence.