LifeLabs Class Action - Sotos Class Actions
OVERVIEW

LifeLabs

CLASS MEMBERS SUBMIT YOUR CLAIMS to KPMG INC. at https://lifelabssettlement.kpmg.ca/ between December 8, 2023 and no later than the deadline of April 6, 2024.

Sotos LLP is working in collaboration with other firms in Ontario and British Columbia and seeks to represent all persons resident in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories whose personal information was involved in the breach announced by the defendants on December 17, 2019.

Several proposed class actions were launched, however the plaintiffs agreed to proceed with one lead national action to be prosecuted in Ontario. A companion action has been brought in BC.

The Ontario action alleges that the defendants breached provincial privacy, consumer protection and other laws by failing to protect the sensitive personal health information of approximately 15 million Canadians.

The defendants provide medical laboratory testing services, including standard lab testing, genetic testing and naturopathic testing. The defendants have admitted personal health information was “extracted” by hackers from its systems and that it paid a ransom to the “retrieve” the information.

The Court will decide at a later date if this case will proceed as a class action.

Updates
  • October 25, 2023:  The Ontario Court approved a Canada-wide Settlement Agreement and Distribution Protocol for up to $9.8 million.  You may be a Settlement Class Member if you live in Canada and were a LifeLabs customer on or before December 17, 2019.
  • August 8, 2023: This action has been certified on consent for the purposes of facilitating a settlement negotiated between the parties. The Court will decide whether to approve the settlement at a hearing on October 25, 2023. The settlement will not be effective unless the Court approves it. To learn more about the Settlement, please refer to the Long Form Notice of Settlement Hearing, along with the Settlement Agreement.

    Under the terms of the Settlement, LifeLabs will pay a guaranteed amount of $4.9M, and up to a further $4.9M, depending upon the number of Class members who make valid claims for compensation. The amount of compensation that each individual Class member may receive will be dependent upon the number of valid claims made.

    Class Counsel’s legal fees and disbursements as approved by the Court will be deducted from the settlement fund before the balance is disbursed to Class member claimants. Class Counsel will be asking the Court to approve payment of its fees equal to 25% of the settlement fund, plus disbursements and taxes.

  • March 2-3, 2023:  The hearing scheduled to seek Court approval for the lawsuit to proceed as a class action was adjourned by the parties, pending a potential settlement.  If a settlement is reached, it will require Court approval.
  • October, 2022:  Cross-examinations of the parties’ witnesses were held.  The parties are in the process of exchanging written arguments.
  • February 9, 2022:  A Fresh as Amended Statement of Claim was issued in the Carter Action.  This is the Ontario Action that is being brought forward to launch as a national class action.  The BC action is on hold until the Ontario action is resolved.
  • January 2021: Sotos Class Actions is working together with other counsel across Canada to jointly prosecute the claims. An updated copy of the claim and proposed certification motion will be posted.
  • March 16, 2020: Notice of Civil Action was issued in British Columbia by Sotos Class Actions and Hunter Litigation Chambers.
  • September 7, 2020 – September 11, 2020: Preliminary hearing to determine if British Columbia action will be permitted to proceed.
Contacts

Jean-Marc Leclerc

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Karen Whibley

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Have questions about this case?

What is a class action?

A class action is a special form of lawsuit in which one plaintiff brings a claim against one or more defendants based on allegations which are common to a group, or class, of people. In order for the action to become a class action, it must proceed through a stage known as “certification”.


Who brings a class action lawsuit forward?

A statement of claim is issued on behalf of a “representative plaintiff”. The representative plaintiff’s role is to work with class counsel to bring the action forward and to represent the class members in court.


What is certification?

In order for an action to proceed on behalf of the entire class, a judge must decide (among other things) whether the members of the proposed class have common issues, and whether a class action is the preferred way to resolve the issues. The process to decide these issues is known as the “certification motion”. If the judge is satisfied that the case meets all of the requirements for certification, he or she will issue an order which certifies the action as a class action.


Do I have to do anything to “join” the lawsuit?

No. If the lawsuit is certified, and you are included in the class as defined, you are automatically included in the lawsuit.


Once I am part of the class do I have to do anything?

No. We will work primarily with the class representative.


What if I do not want to be included in the lawsuit?

Those who do not wish to remain in the class will be given the option to opt-out by sending an opt-out form at the appropriate time to us.


What are the benefits of proceeding as a class action?

Certification as a class action will enable us to prove the facts in a single lawsuit rather than in numerous individual lawsuits. This has obvious benefits to the class members and to the courts.


How long does it take for a class action to be resolved?

There is no timeframe. We will move the case forward diligently but it can take a considerable period of time to reach trial.


Can a class action lawsuit be settled without going to trial?

Many class actions settle and thereby remove the need for a trial. However, we cannot predict with any certainty whether or not there will be a settlement in a given action.


What are the chances of winning the action?

The chances of “winning” can never be accurately predicted.


Will be liable for any costs or legal fees?

Class action lawsuits are typically brought on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyers will only be paid if the action is successful at trial or results in a settlement in favour of the plaintiffs. Legal fees would then be paid out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by a judge.

Disbursements (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses, including expert reports) may be dealt with in one of two ways.

Most commonly, the lawyers will absorb the cost of disbursements. The lawyers may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund, which may provide funding for disbursements if granted.

In some cases, disbursements may be funded by the class members, including the class representative. This typically occurs in smaller class actions brought on behalf of an organization or network of individuals where each member of the class is easily identifiable and known to the representative plaintiff. If the class action is successful, amounts advanced for disbursements are re-paid from the proceeds of any judgment or settlement to class members (and others).


Will I be liable for costs of the action if it is unsuccessful?

Only the class representative may be liable for costs of the common issues portion of the action if it is unsuccessful.


When can I expect to receive a payout from this class action?

A “payout” or an award for damages is never certain.

The action may settle or it may proceed to trial, at which time a judge will determine the amount of damages, if any, to which the class members are entitled to. Regardless, the amount of “payout” cannot be predicted, and we cannot predict when the action may settle or when the trial will conclude.


How will counsel keep me updated on the progress of the case?

If the lawsuit is certified as a class action, you will receive a formal notice from the court explaining the nature of the case and providing you with the opportunity to opt out if you wish. General information about the lawsuit will be posted on Sotos LLP’s website at https://www.sotosclassactions.com.


Where can I send any documents that I have that may be relevant to a class action?

We ask that you keep a copy of any documents, correspondences, records, invoices, receipts, etc. that you feel might be relevant to your individual claim in the class action. If there is a “payout,” this documentation may be required in order to support your claim for compensation.

It is not required that you send any documents to us at this time.


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