Naken, Cranson, Pearce and Bandiera Suing on Behalf of Themselves and on Behalf of all other Persons who have Purchased new 1971 and 1972 Firenza Motor Vehicles in Ontario v. General Motors of Canada Ltd., (1983) 46 N.R. 139 (SCC)

Judge:Laskin, C.J.C., Dickson, Beetz, Estey and McIntyre, JJ.
Court:Supreme Court of Canada
Case Date:February 08, 1983
Jurisdiction:Canada (Federal)
Citations:(1983), 46 N.R. 139 (SCC);[1983] 1 SCR 72;144 DLR (3d) 385;1983 CanLII 19 (SCC);46 NR 139;[1983] SCJ No 9 (QL);32 CPC 138
 
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Naken v. General Motors (1983), 46 N.R. 139 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Naken, Cranson, Pearce and Bandiera suing on behalf of themselves and on behalf of all other persons who have purchased new 1971 and 1972 Firenza Motor Vehicles in Ontario v. General Motors of Canada Limited

Indexed As: Naken, Cranson, Pearce and Bandiera Suing on Behalf of Themselves and on Behalf of all other Persons who have Purchased new 1971 and 1972 Firenza Motor Vehicles in Ontario v. General Motors of Canada Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Dickson, Beetz, Estey and McIntyre, JJ.

February 8, 1983.

Summary:

General Motors of Canada Limited produced and sold 1971 and 1972 Firenza motor vehicles, which were allegedly severely inadequate. Four Ontario purchasers of Firenzas brought a class action against GM for damages for themselves and on behalf of all other Ontario purchasers of 1971 or 1972 Firenzas and who had not sold them at the date of the writ. The potential class was 4602 people and it was not known how many had sold or disposed of their Firenzas at the date of the writ. One thousand dollars damages was claimed for each member of the class, the amount by which it was alleged that the defects diminished the values of the cars. GM applied to strike out the statement of claim as disclosing no reasonable cause of action. The Ontario Weekly Court in a judgment reported 11 O.R.(2d) 389; 66 D.L.R.(3d) 205, dismissed the application. GM appealed. The Ontario Divisional Court in a judgment reported 17 O.R.(2d) 193; 79 D.L.R.(3d) 718, allowed the appeal, struck out the statement of claim and dismissed the action. The plaintiffs appealed. The Ontario Court of Appeal in a judgment reported 21 O.R.(2d) 780; 92 D.L.R.(3d) 100, dismissed the appeal, but gave the plaintiffs time to file an amended statement of claim. GM appealed. The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and held that the action could not be framed as a class action under Rule 75 of the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ontario, but must proceed as a joined action brought by several named plaintiffs.

Practice - Topic 209

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals - Class or representative actions - General principles - Rules of Practice of Supreme Court of Ontario, Rule 75 - GM produced and sold 1971 and 1972 Firenza cars, which were allegedly inadequate - Four Ontario purchasers of Firenzas brought a class action on behalf of all Ontario purchasers of 1971 or 1972 Firenzas, who had not sold them at the date of writ - The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a class or representative action was inappropriate and stated that Rule 75 was totally inadequate as a base for a class action so complex and uncertain - The court thoroughly discussed and reviewed the problems of and the principles applicable to class or representative actions and suggested the legislative prescription of a detailed class action procedure.

Cases Noticed:

Duke of Bedford v. Ellis, [1901] A.C. 1, consd. [para. 10].

Markt & Co. Limited v. Knight Steamship Company Limited, [1910] 2 K.B. 1021, consd. [para. 11].

Beeching v. Lloyd, 3 Drew. 227, consd. [para. 11].

Thomson v. The Victoria Mutual Fire Insurance Co. (1881), 29 Gr. 56, consd. [para. 14].

May v. Wheaton (1917), 41 O.L.R. 369, consd. [para. 15].

Drohan v. Sangamo Co. Ltd., [1972] 3 O.R. 399, consd. [para. 16].

Bowen v. MacMillan, [1921] O.W.N. 23, consd. [para. 17].

Shields v. Mayor, [1953] O.W.N. 5, consd. [para. 17].

Farnham v. Fingold, [1973] 2 O.R. 132, consd. [para. 18].

Taff Vale R. Co. v. Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, [1901] A.C. 426, consd. [para. 18].

Cobbold et al. v. Time Canada Ltd. (1976), 13 O.R.(2d) 567, consd. [para. 20].

Seafarers International Union of Canada et al. v. Lawrence (1979), 24 O.R.(2d) 257, consd. [para. 20].

Stephenson v. Air Canada (1979), 26 O.R.(2d) 369, consd. [para. 20].

Chastain et al. v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, [1973] 2 W.W.R. 481, consd. [para. 12].

Aldan v. Gagliardi et al. (1970), 15 D.L.R.(3d) 380, consd. [para. 21].

Vasquez v. Superior Court of San Joaquin County (1971), 484 P.(2d) 964, consd. [para. 23].

Altman et al. v. Manhattan Savings Bank (1978), 83 Cal. App.(3d) 761, consd. [para. 24].

D'Amico v. Sitmar Cruises Inc. et al. (1980), 109 Cal. App.(3d) 323, consd. [para. 24].

Eisen v. Carlisle (1974), 417 U.S. 156, consd. [para. 25].

Cartt v. Superior Court, County of Los Angeles (1975), 50 Cal.(3d) 960, consd. [para. 25].

Alberta Pork Producers Marketing Board et al. v. Swift Canadian Company et al. (1981), 129 D.L.R.(3d) 411; 33 A.R. 541, dist. [para. 28].

Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, [1893] 1 Q.B. 256, consd. [para. 31].

Cahoon v. Franks, [1967] S.C.R. 455, consd. [para. 39].

Cox v. Robert Simpson Co. Ltd., [1973] 1 O.R.(2d) 333 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 39].

American Pipe and Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538, consd. [para. 44].

Statutes Noticed:

Rules of Practice of Supreme Court of Ontario, rule 66 [para. 27]; rule 75 [para. 8].

Counsel:

Douglas K. Laidlaw, Q.C., and Ronald Slaght, for the appellant;

Vernon I. Balaban and Jeffery S. Lyons, Q.C., for the respondent.

This case was heard on March 25, 1982, at Ottawa, Ontario, before Laskin, C.J.C., Dickson, Beetz, Estey and McIntyre, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On February 8, 1983, Estey, J., delivered the following judgment for the Supreme Court of Canada:

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