Unveiling the Surge of Mass Torts: Exploring Ontario’s Certification Challenges and Carriage Fights

Toronto, Ontario – The province of Ontario is witnessing a surge in mass tort cases due to a combination of certification challenges, carriage conflicts, and the influence of plaintiffs’ lawyers. However, this trend is not mirrored in all Canadian provinces. In a recent podcast episode, lawyers from Blakes law firm shed light on the disparities between mass torts and class actions, and why one may be preferred over the other.

Unlike class actions, which seek compensation for a large group of people harmed by a common incident, mass torts focus on individual claims that arise from a single event or product, such as defective medical devices. The legal process for mass torts can be more complex and time-consuming, as each plaintiff’s case is handled separately. Additionally, plaintiffs’ lawyers play a significant role in initiating and driving mass tort actions.

In Ontario, there has been a notable increase in mass torts, with lawyers facing challenges in obtaining certification for these cases. Certification is a crucial step that determines whether a case can proceed as a class action or mass tort. It ensures that the claims have common issues that can be resolved collectively. However, certification challenges can result in delays and additional expenses.

Carriage fights, which involve multiple law firms competing to represent the plaintiffs in a mass tort, have also contributed to the rise of these cases in Ontario. Lawyers may engage in fierce battles to secure the role of lead counsel, as it offers significant influence and control over the litigation process.

While Ontario grapples with the rise of mass torts, other Canadian provinces do not face the same trend. This discrepancy may be attributed to varying legal systems and approaches to addressing mass tort claims.

Legal experts suggest that the preference for either a mass tort or class action depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Mass torts may be more suitable when the individual circumstances of each plaintiff are unique, requiring personalized attention. On the other hand, class actions may be more efficient and cost-effective when the claims involve a large number of plaintiffs with common issues.

Understanding the differences between mass torts and class actions is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants. Careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach is necessary to ensure appropriate and effective legal representation in complex injury or product liability cases. While the rise of mass torts in Ontario presents challenges, it also prompts a critical examination of the legal landscape and the evolving nature of personal injury litigation.