An article this week in Canadian Underwriter presents some interesting statistics about the growth of class action lawsuits in Canada, including securities cases. Susan Watts, Senior Vice President at Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, writes that Canada is experiencing a “new litigious environment” that has seen a surge in class actions related to securities, stock options, and shareholder returns, among other things.
Watts observes that
the number of class-action lawsuits filed in B. C. rose notably by 68% — from 33 actions in 2004 to 48 actions by 2008. And since Ontario amended its securities legislation in 2005, the number of shareholder class actions has increased by 125% across the country.
She adds that Canada is also seeing a rising number of class actions mirroring pleadings in the United States, where plaintiff’s counsel are looking to “piggyback” on cases originating in the U.S.