Thorburn et al. v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety) et al., 2013 BCCA 480

JudgeNewbury, D. Smith and Harris, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateNovember 06, 2013
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations2013 BCCA 480;(2013), 346 B.C.A.C. 130 (CA)

Thorburn v. B.C. (2013), 346 B.C.A.C. 130 (CA);

    592 W.A.C. 130

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2013] B.C.A.C. TBEd. NO.014

Elise Danielle Thorburn and Christopher David Jacob as representative plaintiffs (appellants/plaintiffs) v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia as represented by The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Board (respondents/defendants)

(CA040411; 2013 BCCA 480)

Indexed As: Thorburn et al. v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety) et al.

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Newbury, D. Smith and Harris, JJ.A.

November 6, 2013.

Summary:

The representative plaintiffs sought certification of a class action for Charter damages on behalf of all persons detained at the Vancouver city jail between December 6, 2001, and April 1, 2006 who were arrested, but not remanded into pre-trial custody, and subjected to routine strip searches. At issue was the appropriateness of a class action under s. 4(1) of the Class Proceedings Act.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a judgment reported [2012] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1585, denied certification. The court stated that "I find that as the pleadings stand, the statement of claim does not disclose a cause of action. While I consider that the class is identifiable, there is no link between that identifiable class and the proposed common issues because, in my view, there are none. A class action must fulfill the goals of fairness and efficiency. Certifying this action will necessarily result in a break-down into individual proceedings. Finally, I find that the proposed representative plaintiffs do not meet the criteria specified in the CPA". The plaintiffs appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The court stated, inter alia, that "A class action would not in my view be a fair, effective and efficient procedure for resolving the central issue of the reasonableness of each claimant's strip search. This core issue of each class member's cause of action, (whether the strip search of that class member was reasonable in all of the circumstances), can only be resolved by individual trials. Therefore instead of providing judicial economy and access to justice, the proposed class proceeding would simply render the litigation inefficient, unmanageable and costly".

Practice - Topic 209.3

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Class or representative actions - Certification - Considerations (incl. when class action appropriate) - See paragraphs 1 to 55.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Douglas, 2003 BCPC 392, refd to. [para. 7].

R. v. Golden (I.V.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 679; 279 N.R. 1; 153 O.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 83, refd to. [para. 9].

Ward v. Vancouver (City) et al., [2010] 2 S.C.R. 28; 404 N.R. 1; 290 B.C.A.C. 222; 491 W.A.C. 222; 2010 SCC 27, refd to. [para. 12].

Hunt v. T & N plc et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959; 117 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 21].

Western Canadian Shopping Centres Inc. et al. v. Dutton et al., [2001] 2 S.C.R. 534; 272 N.R. 135; 286 A.R. 201; 253 W.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 46, refd to. [para. 22].

Samos Investments Inc. v. Pattison et al., [2001] B.C.T.C. 1790; 2001 BCSC 1790, affd. (2003), 178 B.C.A.C. 298; 292 W.A.C. 298; 10 B.C.L.R.(4th) 234; 2003 BCCA 87, refd to. [para. 22].

Hollick v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) et al., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 158; 277 N.R. 51; 153 O.A.C. 279; 2001 SCC 68, refd to. [para. 22].

Rumley et al. v. British Columbia, [2001] 3 S.C.R. 184; 275 N.R. 342; 157 B.C.A.C. 1; 256 W.A.C. 1; 2001 SCC 69, refd to. [para. 25].

Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Infineon Technologies AG et al. (2009), 277 B.C.A.C. 271; 469 W.A.C. 271; 312 D.L.R.(4th) 419; 2009 BCCA 503, leave to appeal refused (2010), 409 N.R. 385; 299 B.C.A.C. 322; 508 W.A.C. 322 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 30].

Campbell et al. v. Flexwatt Corp. et al. (1998), 98 B.C.A.C. 22; 161 W.A.C. 22; 15 C.P.C.(4th) 1; 44 B.C.L.R.(3d) 343 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 31].

Lam v. University of British Columbia et al. (2010), 289 B.C.A.C. 193; 489 W.A.C. 193; 321 D.L.R.(4th) 150; 2010 BCCA 325, refd to. [para. 39].

Tiemstra v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (1997), 95 B.C.A.C. 144; 154 W.A.C. 144; 38 B.C.L.R.(3d) 377 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 51].

Dennis et al. v. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (2013), 307 O.A.C. 377; 116 O.R.(3d) 321; 2013 ONCA 501, refd to. [para. 52].

Statutes Noticed:

Class Proceedings Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 50, sect. 4 [para. 18].

Counsel:

J. Gratl, for the appellants;

B. Mackey and M. Witten, for the respondent, British Columbia;

W. Branch, S. Precious and K. Liang, for the respondents, City of Vancouver and Police Board.

This appeal was heard on September 19, 2013, at Vancouver, B.C., before Newbury, D. Smith and Harris, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

On November 6, 2013, D. Smith, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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59 practice notes
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    ...Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 2013 SCC 57, Western Canadian Shopping Centres Inc. v. Dutton, 2001 SCC 46, Thorburn v. British Columbia, 2013 BCCA 480, Dennis v. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., 2013 ONCA 501, Fram Elgin Mills 90 Inc. v. Romandale Farms Ltd., 2016 ONCA 404, Leroux v. Ontario, 20......
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    ...647. 111 Ibid. 112 Vivendi Canada Inc v Dell’Aniello, 2014 SCC 1. 113 Thorburn v British Columbia (Public Safety and Solicitor General), 2013 BCCA 480 L a R ev ue C a nadienne des r ecour s collectifs | Volume 17 • No 1 175 for routine strip searches of detained individuals at the Vancouver......
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    ...it is preferable to other available procedures.54 However, there is benefit to be gained from using these three principles 51 52 53 54 2013 BCCA 480 [Thorburn]. Ibid at paras 2–3. Ibid at para 53. Markson v MBNA Canada Bank, 2007 ONCA 334 at para CCAR 14-2.indb 352 1/8/2019 10:57:41 AM L a ......
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3 firm's commentaries
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