On February 13, 2003, Justice Elizabeth Bennett of the B.C. Supreme Court issued her reasons for judgment in Gregg v. Freightliner Ltd. et al. This is the first employment/pension class proceeding certified brought in B.C.
The claim relates to Freightliner Ltd.’s decision to close the Western Star Trucks plant in Kelowna, B.C. and to wind up the Western Star pension plan.
In her ruling, the judge issued an order severing the employment law claims from the pension law claims. She then certified a class for the employment law issues and defined certain common issues including whether a notice sent to employees concerning a working notice period constituted proper notice of termination of employment.
With respect to the pension law claims, the judge determined that various subclasses with separate representative plaintiffs needed to be established prior to certification. She adjourned the pension law proceeding until representative plaintiffs for each of the subclasses could be brought forward to the court for confirmation. Pension action has been adjourned only to appoint sub-class representatives and will then be certified.
Murray Tevlin, Dan Gleadle and Dagmar Dlab of TevlinGleadle Employment Law Strategies in Vancouver acted for the representative plaintiff, Peter Gregg. Allan Seckel and Andrew Borrell of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted for Freightliner, doing business as Western Star Trucks. Craig Ferris and Lisa Chamzuk of Lawson Lundell acted for The Canada Trust Company and CIBC Mellon Trust Company.