Judge certifies class action in wrongful dismissal suit against K-Mart

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In Webb v. K-Mart Canada Ltd., a decision released on June 14, 1999, an Ontario judge has certified what is believed to be the first class action for wrongful dismissal in Canada. Karen Webb, an employee with over 18 years of service, will bring the action on behalf of 3,000 to 4,000 employees who lost their jobs following the Hudson’s Bay Company’s purchase of K-Mart Canada.

Towards the conclusion of the decision, the Court issued a summary partial judgment, based on K-Mart’s admission, that the class members had been dismissed without just cause and were entitled to reasonable notice or damages in lieu of notice. The certification under the Class Proceedings Act will, in the judge’s words, enable “the admittedly individual issues of entitlement to compensation” to be dealt with by an expedited process in which damages would be assessed through a process of mandatory mediation and, where mediation fails, summary hearings before referees.

For further information, please contact Carole Piette at (613) 563-7660, Extension 227.