Superior Court Judge Allows One G20 Class-Action Lawsuit to Proceed, while Staying a Second One

Update: see previous posts – August 13, 2011 Judge Declares that Toronto Police Criminalized Political Demonstrations, August 12, 2011 Toronto Deputy Police Chief Tony Warr Defends Actions of Police During G20, July 29, 2011 Judge Rules that Man Arrested at G20 Should Have Been Provided Counsel, July 23, 2011 Twenty One (21) Month Sentence for Man Who Set G20 Police Vehicle Ablaze, July 22, 2011 G20 Investigator Wants Law to Ban Disguises After 17 Suspects Unidentified, July 21, 2011 Toronto Police Chief Blair’s Report on the G20 is Deferred, June 25, 2011 G20 Summit Toronto – First Anniversary (June 26 & 27, 2011), June 18, 2011 Harper Falls Short on Toronto Businesses’ G20 Claims, June 10, 2011 G20 – Final Public Hearing for the Toronto Police’s Civilian Review, June 10, 2011 G20 – Another Arrest, June 7, 2011 G20 Update – Who Assaulted Adam? Nooobody!, June 1, 2011 Ottawa Police Enjoy Their Share of the G20 Money Pie, McGuinty to Scrap the Secret G20 Law (1939 Public Works Protection Act), March 31, 2011 The “G20 Bump” Translates into a 60% Increase of Toronto Police Making the 2010 Sunshine List, March 19, 2011 Harper Screws Toronto’s Businesses, March 18, 2011 New G20 Lawsuits Launched Against Toronto Police Board, December 7, 2010 Ontario Umbudsman André Marin Delivers Report on G20 “Caught in the Act”, August 8, 2010 G20 Litigation, August 1, 2010 Damage$ Flowing from Charter Breaches

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This is just the beginning folks.  In the future we will hear of class action suits being authorized by the courts.  Following these civil action lawsuits, we will learn of settlements or results of these lawsuits and the huge amounts of money it will take to resolve them.  The money of course, will come from taxes that we have paid to different levels of governments, either municipal, provincial or federal.

A judge has given one G20 class action lawsuit the green light to seek certification, while calling a halt to another.

The $45 million suit launched by office administrator Sherry Good on behalf of people subject to mass arrests during the June 2010 Toronto meeting of world leaders can now ask a judge for certification.

But the $115 million G20 suit launched by activists Miranda McQuade and Mike Barber is stayed, Justice Carolyn Horkins ruled in a judgment released Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court.

Legal teams from each proposed class action sought an order staying the other.

Under court rules, only one can proceed for practical reasons, explained lawyer Murray Klippenstein who, with Eric Gillespie, represents Good.

“The Sherry Good lawsuit would include most of the individuals covered by the other lawsuit,” Klippenstein said.

The Good action was launched on behalf of people arrested or subjected to mass detention and who were released without charge or held at the Eastern Ave. detention centre.

The McQuade action defines its members as those arrested, detained, assaulted or charged on June 26 and 27, as well as all those at the detention centre from June 25 to 30.

“There is no meaningful difference in the causes of action pled,” Horkins wrote. Both allege Charter violations and alleged assault and battery, false imprisonment, abuse of public office and negligence.

However, there are important differences in the structures of the two, including the people they seek to include, Horkins said.

The Good action focuses on mass detention and arrests at seven locations.

In contrast, the McQuade action proposes classes of claimants that will trigger individual inquiries before its members can be admitted, the judge wrote.

“It requires an individual inquiry into the factual circumstances surrounding an alleged detention or assault to determine if the individual is a class member or not,” she wrote.

The McQuade class is extremely broad and does not differentiate between those arrested, detained, assaulted or charged, Horkins said. “This approach seems to rely upon sweeping allegations of wrongdoing that challenge the police conduct at large.”

In a related ruling, Horkins denied an application by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to intervene in the Good lawsuit.

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