Business Development Bank of Canada
This class proceeding deals with the improper charging of administrative expenses to a pension plan, and the right of retirees to be treated in an even-handed manner in respect of benefits under the plan.
The claim alleges that the Business Development Bank of Canada (“BDC”) breached its fiduciary duties by improperly charging administrative expenses to the Pension Plan for Employees of the BDC (“Pension Plan”). It is also alleged that the BDC breached its duty to act even-handedly among plan beneficiaries in its use of the Pension Plan’s surplus by, among other things, suspending contributions of active members to the Pension Plan while failing to grant a corresponding benefit to retired Pension Plan members.
This action was certified as a class proceeding in February 2006. The class of persons this action represents is detailed in the Certification Decision, below. Generally, it is comprised of persons who were retired members, surviving spouses and deferred vested members of the Pension Plan with respect to credited service prior to April 9, 1997.
While this class proceeding was commenced in Vancouver by the law firm, Klein Lyons LLP, Koskie Minsky LLP was appointed as co-class counsel in May 2007.
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October 2, 2009
On September 29, 2009, Justice Pitfield of the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued his judgment in this matter. A copy of these reasons are accessible through the documents link to the right of this page.
While the Plaintiffs were partially successful in challenging certain amendments to the Plan entitling the BDC to surplus during the Plan’s currency and in requiring the repayment of certain expenses to the Plan, the Judge did not find that the BDC had breached its fiduciary duty to retirees in not providing a corresponding benefit to retired Plan members when the Plan was made non-contributory. Furthermore, the Judge did not find that payment of expenses related to the administration of the Plan out of the Fund constituted a breach of fiduciary duty.
We are reviewing the decision, and will be advising Class members through this website of further developments as they occur.
June 29, 2009
The trial of this matter proceeded before the Honourable Mr. Justice Pitfield of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from June 8, 2009 until June 16, 2009. Mr. Justice Pitfield reserved his decision. We will advise class members of the outcome of the trial when it becomes known through an update to this website.
March 3, 2009
Class members resident outside of the Province of British Columbia on February 16, 2006 must opt-in to this class proceeding to be considered members of the class. If they do not do so, they will not be bound by the decision of the Court or participate in any resolution. Class members resident in the Province of British Columbia on February 16, 2006 are automatically considered to be members of the class, and must opt-out if they do not wish to be bound by the decision of the Court or participate in any resolution. Opt in and opt out forms must be mailed or delivered no later than 60 days prior to the commencement of the trial in this action to Klein Lyons, at the address listed above.
March 3, 2009
The parties are currently engaged in pre-trial preparation, including discoveries. This matter has been set down for trial commencing on June 8, 2009. Opt in and opt out forms must be mailed or delivered no later than 60 days prior to the commencement of the trial in this action to Klein Lyons LLP
June 20, 2006
The Court of Appeal For British Columbia dismissed the Defendant’s appeal of the dismissal of their jurisdictional motion by the Honourable Mr. Justice Davies.
November 24, 2005
After a four day hearing, the Honourable Mr. Justice Davies ordered that this action be certified as a class proceeding and dismissed the Defendant’s jurisdictional motion.
March 3, 2005
The Honourable Mr. Justice Davies adjourned the Defendant’s jurisdictional motion to be heard at the same time as the hearing of the motion for certification.
- October 2, 2009
News Releases and Reports
FAQSWhat is a class action?
A class action is a lawsuit which provides a method for a large group of people with common claims to join together to advance one large claim. Class actions are a more efficient and cost-effective way for groups of people with common claims to gain access to the legal system and seek justice.
What does certification mean?
In order for an action to proceed as a class action, the court must determine whether it is appropriate for the case to be treated as a class action. Some of the factors the courts consider are the extent to which the claims of the class members are common, and whether a class action is preferable to other methods (such as individual actions) of advancing the issues. The decision as to whether a class action should be certified takes place at a certification hearing and is decided by a judge. If certified, a representative plaintiff will advance the action on behalf of all of the class members.
How do I know if I am a Class Member?
The certification order will always contain a description of who is a class member. We post the certification orders in our actions so that you can review them. You do not need to “sign up” to become involved in a class action. If you are included in the class description, you are automatically a class member who will be affected by the outcome of the class action unless you decide to “opt out”.
Are Class Members notified of the certification of the class proceeding?
Yes. After the claim has been certified, the court will authorize notice to be given to the members of the class.
Can I opt out of a class action and pursue independent legal action?
Yes. When a class action is certified, class members are always given an opportunity to opt out of the action. A deadline is imposed for opting out. If you do not opt out by the given deadline, class members will be bound by the outcome of the class action, whether it is successful or unsuccessful. If you opt out, you will not receive any benefit if the action is successful.
Will there be any cost to class members for legal fees?
Typically, class actions are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the class action lawyers will be paid only if the class action is successful at trial or settled. In that case, class counsel fees may be paid by the defendants or out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by the court. In addition, the plaintiff may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund which, if funding is granted, may provide funding for disbursements.
I still have questions…
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Koskie Minsky LLP: 416-977-8353
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