The Court Blinked

Some six years ago, I expressed relief that Pearson v. Inco had been finally certified as a class proceeding (see below).

I recorded my thoughts that environmental class actions were the subject of judicial flinching because of general reluctance to let plaintiffs threaten the existence of an entire industry, no matter what the merits of their claim. Pearson v. Inco (now renamed Smith v. Inco) has now crashed and burned as our court of appeal has overturned a $36 million trial judgment. See the court’s reasons. I have to imagine that our courts keep a close eye not only on the case in front of them but all other cases that might be inspired by substantial damage awards.