Tort Tuesday: Class action lawsuit started in Alberta for failed Alysena-28 pills

Birth control pills.
Birth control pills. Stock photo by Getty Images.

Who doesn’t love a good class action lawsuit? Well, this week there are three class actions that will be of interest:  two were just certified and one is being dropped after a long battle.

See: Class actions: starting a lawsuit with others

A class action lawsuit has been certified against Spanish company Laboratorios León Farma SA by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. León Farma is the company that packaged Alysena-28 birth control pills. The claim is the packages did not have a sufficient number of active pills which resulted in a number of unwanted pregnancies by users.

The defective birth control pills were sold in Canada between Nov.19, 2012 and April 15, 2013 until the drug company Apotex ordered a recall of the pills. Gynecologists across Canada were up in arms about the recall and said the problems these faulty pills potentially caused were “unprecedented in its damage to women.”

The plaintiffs, who include both women who used the birth control pills, as well as biological fathers, are suing for damages resulting from unintended pregnancies. Those include the costs of raising children, loss of mobility, and pain and suffering due to pregnancy as well as other damages. León Farma denies the allegations.

Another class action lawsuit against Ontario development centres

A new lawsuit has also been certified against 12 centres for people with developmental disabilities in Ontario. The suit claims the residents of these centres were abused physically, emotionally, and psychologically at these care facilities. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims the province was negligent in the operation of these centres despite being informed about the conditions as documented by several government studies. The alleged abuses took place from about 1963 to 1999.

See: What is negligence?

A Superior Court judge approved the $1-billion class action lawsuit against the province. About 8,800 former residents of the facilities are said to be involved in this class action.

This comes on the heels of settlements for former residents at Huronia, Southwestern, and Rideau centres. The Huronia class action was settled for $35 million, the Rideau and Southwestern regional class action was settled for $32.7 million. The new class action is one of the biggest ever brought against the Ontario government by former residents of these facilities.

The lawyers have four months to finalize a list of former residents. Notices about the suit will be posted at government agencies, long-term care facilities, community care access centres and in newspapers.

Firm involved in tar ponds class action lawsuit throws in the towel

After several major setbacks, Wagner’s — the Halifax law firm representing Cape Breton residents who claimed they suffered contamination by the Sydney tar ponds — has decided to end the 11-year old legal battle.

Wagner’s decision comes after a string of defeats in getting the lawsuit through the court system. Though Wagner’s finally managed to get the lawsuit certified in May of 2012, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decertified it in December 2013. In January of 2015, the firm had its greatest setback when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal on the lawsuit.

In the end, the lawsuit became too costly to carry, and the only recourse left would have been to file individual lawsuits, for which there wasn’t sufficient interest by participants of the class-action.

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