GM CLASS ACTION
Goodridge v. General Motors of Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation
Stewart v. General Motors of Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation
Branch MacMaster has joined Colin Stevenson, Harvin Pitch and Koskie Minsky LLP in pursuing a national class action against General Motors of Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation. Proceedings were filed in British Columbia ( Goodridge v. General Motors of Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation), where the proposed representative plaintiff is Donald Goodridge, and in Ontario (Stewart v. General Motors of Canada Limited and General Motors Corporation ), where the proposed representative plaintiff is Kenneth David Stewart. Class actions are also being filed in other jurisdictions.
General information about this lawsuit and the status of the various claims can be found at www.gmcanadianclassaction.ca. This website will be updated periodically and has links to various court documents and other material.
Overview of the Claim:
The claim advanced in these proposed class actions is that certain 1995-2003 model year vehicles designed and manufactured by the defendants (collectively the "Class Vehicles") were equipped with a defective intake manifold gasket (the "IMG"). The IMG regulates the flow of air and fuel into the cylinder. The allegation is that the IMG in the Class Vehicles degraded prematurely causing coolant to leak into the engine. Among other consequences, it is alleged that the coolant mixes with engine oil making the oil ineffective and damaging the engine.
The claim is based on negligence, including the failure to warn the class of the problems and to rectify the problems. The damages are difficult to assess, but the plaintiffs are advancing a claim for restitution of the defendants' savings. Alternatively, the plaintiffs are claiming for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in diagnosing and repairing the IMG in the Class Vehicles.
Comparable actions in the United States have been hard-fought and continue to be pursued in various jurisdictions. In January 2006, a similar claim was certified as a class action in Missouri.
The Canadian Actions and Status of Proceedings :
If you would like to view a copy of the British Columbia Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim, please click here. If you would like to view a copy of the Ontario Amended Statement of Claim, please click here. Case Management Judges have been appointed for both proceedings. In British Columbia, the action is being case-managed by the Honourable Mr. Justice Blair, and in Ontario the action is being case-managed by the Honourable Mr. Justice Cullity.
The first substantial step in the actions will be for the Courts to consider whether the claims should be certified as class actions.
By agreement of the parties, the determination of whether this should occur will first be made in Ontario. A pre-certification schedule has been put in place for all pre-certification steps and the actual hearing will take place on December 3-5, 2007. In the meantime, the British Columbia proceedings will be held in abeyance.
If You Think You Have a Claim (for BC residents):
A list of the likely Class Vehicles can be accessed by clicking here. Please note that this list was prepared based on the evidence available thus far, and may change as further evidence is gathered.
If you wish to ensure that you receive the official court notice if the British Columbia case is certified as a class action, or want to relate your experience or that of someone you know with respect to a vehicle equipped with a defective IMG, please complete the questionnaire that can be found at www.gmcanadianclassaction.ca, or contact us to obtain a copy of same at:
Barristers & Solicitors
Suite 1210-777 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4
Attention: Ulla Herlev
If the action is certified as a class action, and if it ultimately results in a favourable judgment or settlement, those making claims may be required to produce evidence of the costs incurred diagnosing and repairing the problem. They may also be asked for identifying information such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicles. If you think you may have a Class Vehicle, we recommend that you keep any and all documents you may have regarding these costs, and that you take note of your vehicle's VIN.
If You Think You Have a Claim (for residents of other jurisdictions):
Since the national claim was commenced in Ontario, there has been an outpouring of interest by affected consumers across the country. A national team of law firms has been assembled to pursue this claim vigorously on behalf of all potential class members. The following is the list of lawyers working with us, together with their websites. If you have not yet completed the questionnaire and remitted it, you may either send it to us or to the listed law firm nearest to you:
C. Kenneth W. Kolthammer
Kolthammer Batchelor &
Wayne P. Forbes
Pollock & Company
Colin P. Stevenson LLP
Sylvestre Fafard Painchaud
Jason P. Gavras
Gavras Slone Lenehan
Howard A. Spalding, Q.C.
William A. Seines
Kapoor, Seines, Klimm & Brown
Paul J. D. Mullin, Q.C.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Aylward, Chislett & Whitten
If you are from other jurisdictions, please email Brian Kirkland at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.