Conclusion. The Future of Large-Scale Claims in Canada

AuthorJamie Cassels - Craig Jones
The Future of Large-Scale
Claims in Canada
As we stressed in the introduction to this book, the high rate of settlement
of large-scale claims (particularly once certified as class actions) makes any
discussion of the law in the area inherently speculative. Without a constant
generation of judicial precedent, lawyers and other students of the field are
left with precious little certainty regarding the law that will govern any
emerging claim. Crucial and far-reaching questions going to the heart of
substantive grounds of liability, conflict of laws principles, and procedural
matters remain unanswered.
But this is not to say that no trends can be gleaned from the recent
Canadian experience with large-scale claims. We here conclude with a
summary of what are, in our view, the most significant of these.
We are of the view that the law will continue to grow to respond to the
increasingly complex risks and harms that are inevitable in modern society.
The law will continue to adapt to the reality that many of those harms affect
large classes of persons. However, the way in which Canadian law grows will
be more orderly and cautious than in the United States, and we will certain-
ly not see the adoption of ideas such as absolute product line liability. Indeed,
despite repeated calls for the adoption of strict liability from U.S. jurispru-
dence, it is our view that the substantive law of product liability will likely
remain an analysis based on negligence principles. There are a number of

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