The Precarious State of the Ragoonanan Principle in Ontario

AuthorSidney Brejak
The Precarious State of the
Principle in
Sidney Brejak
: The Ragoonanan Principle requires each named defendant
in a class proceeding to have a corresponding representative plaintiff
asserting a cause of action against them. The Principle, first articulated
by Cumming J in Ragoonanan Estate v Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd, is
only in force in Ontario and has been expressly rejected by most other
Canadian jurisdictions. However, in 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada
released its decision in Bank of Montreal v Marcotte, where it stated that
“[n]othing in the nature of class actions . . . requires representatives to
have a direct cause of action against, or a legal relationship with, each
defendant in the class action.” Subsequently, there was a lingering ques-
tion as to whether Marcotte overturned Ragoonanan and opened the door
for representative plaintiffs to bring multi-defendant class actions with-
out a cause of action against each defendant. However, in his 2021 deci-
sion Vecchio Longo Consulting Services Inc v Aphria Inc, Perell J seems to
have shut that door, holding that the Ragoonanan Principle was not over-
turned by Marcotte and is still applicable in Ontario. This article argues
that Perell J’s holding was erroneous and that the principles set out in
Marcotte did overturn Ragoonanan.

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