Superior Court Declines Class Action Certification
On July 9, 2002, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declined to certify a class-action suit filed against Hoeschst Celanese Corp., Shell Oil Company and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, despite the fact that DuPont had already settled with the plaintiffs. It is the first case to interpret and apply in a product liability setting recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions regarding class actions. The Superior Court of Justice held there was no identifiable class in the action, which involved raw materials used in the manufacture of plastic pipes and fittings used in plumbing. The court also held that the resolution of the common issues would not sufficiently advance the litigation and that a class action was not the preferable procedure.
Tim Pinos and Glenn Zakaib of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP acted for Celanese, and David Kent and Jennifer Dent of McMillan Binch acted for Shell Oil. C. Scott Ritchie, Q.C., Michael Eizenga and Dawn Sullivan of Siskind, Cromarty, Ivey & Dowler LLP acted for the plaintiffs, and will appeal the decision to the Divisional Court.