A class action enables a person to institute proceedings on behalf of all persons concerned by the same situation. In certain cases, each of these persons may have a claim of minimal value which, collectively, represents a significant amount.

The class action must first be authorized by the court. Then, unless the parties come to an agreement, court proceedings are held and a judgment is rendered. A class action case can take several years to settle.

Instituting a class action

To institute a class action, a person must be represented by a lawyer. Several law firms specialize in this area. You can find a lawyer by referring to the website of the Barreau du Québec.

Organizations can also institute a class action. For example, consumer organizations do so in cases where there are problems related to consumer rights.

Generally speaking, the lawyers assigned to a case cover the related fees and are paid from a percentage of the amounts received pursuant to a judgment. Otherwise, you can turn to the Fonds d'aide aux actions collectives (in French only) to receive the necessary financial assistance.

Taking part in a class action

A judgment that authorizes a class action describes the group covered by that class action. As soon as you are covered, you are automatically a member of the class action. You do not have to do anything to become a member.

Once the class action has been settled, you will probably have to file a claim: provide your contact information, proof of purchase, etc.

Following the developments of a class action

The Registry of class actions provides information about all class actions filed in Québec since January 1, 2009.

For class actions filed before January 1, 2009 and those filed elsewhere in Canada since January 1, 2007, you can refer to the national class action database of the Canadian Bar Association.

You recommend this page: https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/

Last update : January 26, 2022

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.