Compass Lexecon Clients Successfully Defeat Class Certification in the Supreme Court of British Columbia

In December 2017, the Honourable Mr. Justice Myers of the Supreme Court of British Columbia declined to certify the proposed class in a class proceeding brought by a plaintiff representing direct and indirect purchasers of roll-on/roll-off (“RoRo”) vessel services used for shipping vehicles and heavy equipment from overseas to Canada. The case involved allegations that the defendant group of RoRo vessel operators had conspired to raise the price of shipping services to overseas vehicle and heavy equipment manufacturers. Plaintiffs alleged that the conspiracy led to higher prices for overseas imported vehicles and heavy equipment purchased by dealers and end-consumers.

Compass Lexecon Senior Managing Director Dr. Mark Israel submitted an affidavit on behalf of the defendant group of RoRo vessel operators addressing the issues of the alleged overcharge and pass-through, and testified at a cross-examination in response to plaintiff’s expert. Justice Myers cited to Dr. Israel’s affidavit throughout his written decision, and ultimately declined to certify the proposed class on the basis that plaintiff’s expert had not demonstrated that he would have sufficient data to implement his model of pass-through and damages, leaving Dr. Boyer’s opinion “purely theoretical.”

The decision marks a rare victory for defendants in class proceeding in Canada, where defendants have struggled to prevent class certification in such cases.

Dr. Israel was supported by Jonathan Bowater, Bryan Keating, and Jon McClure in Compass Lexecon’s DC office. Compass Lexecon worked with Dr. A. Neil Campbell, Casey W. Halladay and Joan Young of McMillan LLP, Katherine L. Kay and Eliot N. Kolers of Stikeman Elliot LLP, Randall Hofley, Robin Reinertson and Litsa Kriaris of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and Kevin Wright, Todd Shikaze and Emily Snow of DLA Piper.