Wakelam v. Johnson & Johnson et al., 2014 BCCA 36

JudgeNewbury, Frankel and Garson, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateJanuary 30, 2014
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations2014 BCCA 36;(2014), 350 B.C.A.C. 70 (CA)

Wakelam v. Johnson & Johnson (2014), 350 B.C.A.C. 70 (CA);

    598 W.A.C. 70

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2014] B.C.A.C. TBEd. FE.009

Lana Wakelam (respondent/plaintiff) v. Wyeth Consumer Healthcare/Wyeth Soins De Sante Inc. (appellant/defendant) and Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada, Pfizer Canada Inc., Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc./Novartis Sante Familiale Canada Inc., Trillium Health Care Products Inc., Vita Health Products Inc., and Procter & Gamble Inc. (respondents/defendants) and The Attorney General of British Columbia, The Attorney General of Canada Pursuant to the Constitutional Question Act, RSBC 1996, C. 68

(CA039629)

Lana Wakelam (respondent/plaintiff) v. Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada, and Pfizer Canada Inc. (appellants/defendants) and Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc./Novartis Sante Familiale Canada Inc., Wyeth Consumer Healthcare/Wyeth Soins De Sante Inc., Trillium Health Care Products Inc., and Vita Health Products Inc., and Procter & Gamble Inc. (respondents/defendants) and The Attorney General of British Columbia, The Attorney General of Canada Pursuant to the Constitutional Question Act, RSBC 1996, C. 68

(CA039633)

Lana Wakelam (respondent/plaintiff) v. Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc./Novartis Sante Familiale Canada Inc. (appellant/defendant) and Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Inc., Mcneil Consumer Healthcare Canada, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare/Wyeth Soins De Sante Inc., Pfizer Canada Inc., Trillium Health Care Products Inc., Vita Health Products Inc., and Procter & Gamble Inc. (respondents/defendants) and The Attorney General of British Columbia, The Attorney General of Canada Pursuant to the Constitutional Question Act, RSBC 1996, C. 68

(CA039636; 2014 BCCA 36)

Indexed As: Wakelam v. Johnson & Johnson et al.

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Newbury, Frankel and Garson, JJ.A.

January 30, 2014.

Summary:

In 2008, Health Canada reversed a long-standing policy permitting the sale of non-prescription cough and cold medicines for children under age six. There was a concern that the medicines were ineffective and not worth the risk. The plaintiff commenced a representative action against the defendants (manufacturers of the medicines). Although she pleaded that she purchased their products prior to 2008, she did not plead that she gave the medicine to her child under age six nor that she suffered any harm. The plaintiff's claim alleged that the defendants engaged in "deceptive acts or practices" under the provincial Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPA) and made false or misleading representations to the public contrary to the federal Competition Act. The plaintiff appeared to seek damages for not just her "waste of money", but the disgorgement of any benefits received by the defendants from their pre-2008 sales of the medicines. The plaintiff relied on the statutory breaches, which required that a plaintiff suffered a loss or damage, and appeared to limit recovery to the resulting damages, with "anti-harm" or restitutionary remedies not contemplated by either Act. The plaintiff applied under the Class Proceedings Act (CPA) for certification of her claim.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a judgment reported [2011] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1765, granted certification substantially on the terms sought by the plaintiff. The defendants appealed. The issues on appeal were: "1. Did the certification judge err in finding that the BPA (in particular ss. 171 and 172 thereof) is not inconsistent with the relevant provisions of the Food and Drugs Act ... such that the doctrine of paramountcy does not apply to make the BPA inoperative in this case? 2. Did the certification judge err in finding that [the plaintiff's] pleading discloses a cause of action consisting of a breach of the BPA for which a court might grant: i. a restitutionary award; ii. injunctive relief restraining the defendants from engaging in deceptive acts or practices as defined in the BPA; iii. a declaration that the acts or practices engaged in by the defendants contravened the BPA; or iv. an order requiring the defendants to advertise the court's judgment or declaration? 3. Did the certification judge err in finding that the pleading discloses a cause of action consisting of a breach of the Competition Act for which a court might grant a restitutionary remedy? 4. Did the certification judge err in finding that ss. 29-30 of the CPA may provide the plaintiff with a cause of action for 'aggregate damages'? 5. Did the certification judge err in finding that an 'identifiable class of 2 or more persons' existed as required by s. 4(1)(b) of the CPA?".

The British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. All causes of action, except the claim under s. 172 of the BPA, were struck and the certification order was set aside. The plaintiff was free to seek to re-certify what remained. The court held that the Food and Drug Act and the BPA did not "conflict" in the constitutional sense. The paramountcy doctrine did not apply to render the BPA inapplicable. The BPA was an exhaustive code regulating consumer transactions. Restitutionary remedies (including waiver of tort, unjust enrichment, disgorgement and constructive trust) were not available at law for a breach of the BPA. Respecting the plaintiff's claim for damages under the BPA, the plaintiff failed to plead a causal connection between the alleged deceptive act or practice and some loss or damage to her. However, non-monetary causes referred to in s. 172 of the BPA were available, at least in theory. As for the claim under the Competition Act, the plaintiff again failed to plead the required loss or damage and the restitutionary remedies sought were not available. The "aggregate damages" provisions of the CPA, being procedural in nature, did not provide a cause of action to the plaintiff.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2502

Determination of validity of statutes - Aim or purpose of statute - See paragraphs 10 to 43.

Constitutional Law - Topic 3614

Paramountcy of federal statutes - Overlapping legislation - Conflict - What constitutes - See paragraphs 10 to 43.

Constitutional Law - Topic 5676

Federal jurisdiction (s. 91) - Regulation of trade and commerce - Food and drug legislation - See paragraphs 10 to 43.

Constitutional Law - Topic 7506

Provincial jurisdiction (s. 92) - Matters of local or private nature - Health - See paragraphs 10 to 43.

Consumer Law - Topic 1804

Sale of goods and services - Breach - Remedies of buyer - Damages (incl. punitive damages) - See paragraphs 44 to 66.

Practice - Topic 208

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Class or representative actions - For damages - See paragraphs 44 to 66.

Practice - Topic 208.4

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Class actions - Aggregate damages - See paragraphs 93 to 95.

Practice - Topic 209.1

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Class actions - Members of class - General - See paragraphs 96 to 105.

Restitution - Topic 123

Unjust enrichment - Remedies - Constructive trust - See paragraphs 67 to 69.

Trade Regulation - Topic 506

Competition - General - Civil remedy (Competition Act, s. 36) - See paragraphs 73 to 92.

Cases Noticed:

Koubi v. Mazda Canada Inc. (2012), 325 B.C.A.C. 172; 553 W.A.C. 172; 2012 BCCA 310, refd to. [para. 8].

Hryniak v. Mauldin (2014), 453 N.R. 51; 314 O.A.C. 1; 2014 SCC 7, refd to. [para. 8].

Hunt v. T & N plc et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959; 117 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 8].

Hunt v. Carey Canada Inc. - see Hunt v. T & N plc. et al.

British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. et al. (2011), 419 N.R. 1; 308 B.C.A.C. 1; 521 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 42, refd to. [para. 8].

Minnes v. Minnes (1962), 39 W.W.R. 112 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 8].

Anderson et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2011), 315 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 314; 981 A.P.R. 314; 2011 NLCA 82, refd to. [para. 9].

Toms Grain & Cattle Co. et al. v. Arcola (2006), 279 Sask.R. 281; 372 W.A.C. 281; 2006 SKCA 20, refd to. [para. 9].

Soldier v. Canada (Attorney General) (2009), 236 Man.R.(2d) 107; 448 W.A.C. 107; 2009 MBCA 12, refd to. [para. 9].

Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 12].

Law Society of British Columbia v. Mangat (2001), 276 N.R. 339; 157 B.C.A.C. 161; 256 W.A.C. 161; 2001 SCC 67, refd to. [para. 12].

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. v. Saskatchewan et al., [2005] 1 S.C.R. 188; 331 N.R. 116; 257 Sask.R. 171; 342 W.A.C. 171; 2005 SCC 13, refd to. [para. 12].

Quebec (Attorney General) v. Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (2010), 407 N.R. 102; 2010 SCC 39, refd to. [para. 12].

Pattison (Jim) Enterprises Ltd. et al. v. Workers' Compensation Board (B.C.) (2011), 299 B.C.A.C. 29; 508 W.A.C. 29; 2011 BCCA 35, refd to. [para. 13].

Bank of Montreal v. Hall, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 121; 104 N.R. 110; 82 Sask.R. 120, refd to. [para. 17].

114957 Canada ltée (Spraytech, Société d'arrosage) et al. v. Hudson (Town) (2001), 271 N.R. 201; 2001 SCC 40, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Wetmore et al., [1983] 2 S.C.R. 284; 49 N.R. 286, refd to. [para. 23].

Canadian National Transportation Ltd. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1983] 2 S.C.R. 206; 49 N.R. 241; 49 A.R. 39, refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Hauser, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 984; 26 N.R. 541; 16 A.R. 91, refd to. [para. 24].

Jamieson (C.E.) & Co. (Dominion) Ltd. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (1988), 12 F.T.R. 167; 46 D.L.R.(4th) 582 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 25].

Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association v. Canada (Minister of Health) et al. (2010), 413 N.R. 89; 2010 FCA 334, leave to appeal denied (2011), 426 N.R. 390 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 25].

Saputo Inc. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2011), 414 N.R. 45; 2011 FCA 69, refd to. [para. 25].

Glaxo Canada Inc. v. Canada (Minister of National Health and Welfare), [1988] 1 F.C. 422; 16 F.T.R. 81 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 27].

Burrardview Neighbourhood Association v. Vancouver (City) et al. (2007), 362 N.R. 208; 241 B.C.A.C. 1; 399 W.A.C. 1; 2007 SCC 23, refd to. [para. 31].

Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta (2007), 362 N.R. 111; 409 A.R. 207; 402 W.A.C. 207; 2007 SCC 22, refd to. [para. 34].

Husky Oil Operations Ltd. v. Minister of National Revenue et al., [1995] 3 S.C.R. 453; 188 N.R. 1; 137 Sask.R. 81; 107 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 35].

O'Grady v. Sparling, [1960] S.C.R. 804, refd to. [para. 38].

British Columbia Lottery Corp. v. Vancouver (City) (1999), 118 B.C.A.C. 129; 192 W.A.C. 129; 169 D.L.R.(4th) 141 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 40].

Singer v. Schering-Plough Canada Inc., [2010] O.T.C. Uned. 42; 2010 ONSC 42, refd to. [para. 50].

Knight v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. et al., [2005] B.C.T.C. 172; 2005 BCSC 172, revd. in part (2006), 225 B.C.A.C. 291; 371 W.A.C. 291; 2006 BCCA 235, refd to. [paras. 51, 53].

Arora et al. v. Whirlpool Canada LP et al. (2013), 311 O.A.C. 203; 2013 ONCA 657, refd to. [para. 59].

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool v. Canada, [1983] 1 S.C.R. 205; 45 N.R. 425, refd to. [para. 61].

London Passenger Transport Board v. Upson, [1949] 1 All E.R. 60 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 61].

Frame v. Smith and Smith, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 99; 78 N.R. 40; 23 O.A.C. 84, refd to. [para. 61].

Sparkes v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. et al. (2008), 282 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 177; 868 A.P.R. 177; 2008 NLTD 207, affd. (2010), 295 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 267; 911 A.P.R. 267; 2010 NLCA 21, refd to. [para. 62].

Macaraeg v. E Care Contact Centers Ltd. (2008), 255 B.C.A.C. 126; 430 W.A.C. 126; 2008 BCCA 182, refd to. [para. 62].

Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. et al. v. Microsoft Corp. et al. (2013), 450 N.R. 201; 345 B.C.A.C. 1; 589 W.A.C. 1; 2013 SCC 57, refd to. [para. 67].

Sun-Rype Products Ltd. et al. v. Archer Daniels Midland Co. et al. (2013), 450 N.R. 287; 345 B.C.A.C. 87; 589 W.A.C. 87; 2013 SCC 58, refd to. [para. 67].

Indalex Ltd. et al., Re (2013), 439 N.R. 235; 301 O.A.C. 1; 2013 SCC 6, refd to. [para. 67].

Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers - see Indalex Ltd. et al., Re.

Proctor v. Bayley (1889), 42 Civ. D. 390, refd to. [para. 70].

Wilcox v. Steel, [1904] 1 Ch. 212, refd to. [para. 70].

Barber v. Penley, [1893] 2 Ch. 447, refd to. [para. 70].

Seidel v. Telus Communications Inc. (2011), 412 N.R. 195; 301 B.C.A.C. 1; 510 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 15, refd to. [para. 70].

Greater Vancouver (Regional District) v. British Columbia et al. (2011), 309 B.C.A.C. 124; 523 W.A.C. 124; 2011 BCCA 345, refd to. [para. 71].

Magill v. Expedia Canada Corp. et al., [2010] O.T.C. Uned. 5247; 2010 ONSC 5247, refd to. [para. 74].

Holmes v. United Furniture Warehouse LP et al., [2009] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1805; 2009 BCSC 1805, refd to. [para. 75].

Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Infineon Technologies AG et al. (2009), 277 B.C.A.C. 271; 469 W.A.C. 271; 2009 BCCA 503, refd to. [para. 81].

Steele et al. v. Toyota Canada Inc. et al. (2011), 306 B.C.A.C. 132; 516 W.A.C. 132; 2011 BCCA 98, refd to. [para. 81].

Canada Cement LaFarge Ltd. et al. v. British Columbia Lightweight Aggregate Ltd. et al., [1983] 1 S.C.R. 452; 47 N.R. 191, refd to. [para. 83].

City National Leasing Ltd. v. General Motors of Canada Ltd., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 641; 93 N.R. 326; 32 O.A.C. 332, refd to. [para. 84].

Chadha v. Bayer Inc. et al. (2003), 168 O.A.C. 143; 63 O.R.(3d) 22 (C.A.), leave to appeal refused (2003), 321 N.R. 396; 191 O.A.C. 397 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 93].

Chartrand v. General Motors Corp. et al., [2008] B.C.T.C. Uned. G02; 2008 BCSC 1781, refd to. [para. 97].

Lee v. Georgia Properties Partnership et al., [2012] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1484; 2012 BCSC 1484, refd to. [para. 101].

Hollick v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) et al. (2001), 277 N.R. 51; 153 O.A.C. 279; 2001 SCC 68, refd to. [para. 102].

Western Canadian Shopping Centres Inc. et al. v. Dutton et al. (2001), 272 N.R. 135; 286 A.R. 201; 253 W.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 46, refd to. [para. 103].

Lau et al. v. Bayview Landmark Inc. et al., [1999] O.T.C. 220; 40 C.P.C.(4th) 301 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 104].

Paton-Holstock et al. v. Independent Order of Foresters (2004), 5 C.P.C.(6th) 68 (Ont. Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 104].

Ducharme v. Solarium de Paris Inc., [2007] O.T.C. Uned. 724; 48 C.P.C.(6th) 194 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 104].

Poulin v. Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. et al. (2008), 242 O.A.C. 209; 65 C.P.C.(6th) 247 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 104].

Lambert et al. v. Guidant Corp. et al. (2009), 256 O.A.C. 299; 72 C.P.C.(6th) 120 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 104].

Markson v. MBNA Canada Bank (2007), 224 O.A.C. 71; 85 O.R.(3d) 321 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 106].

Statutes Noticed:

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2, sect. 4, sect. 5 [para. 46]; sect. 8, sect. 9 [para. 21]; sect. 171(1)(a), sect. 172(2), sect. 172(3) [para. 46].

Competition Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-34, sect. 36(1), sect. 36(4)(a), sect. 52 [para. 73].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (2005 looseleaf), § 26.5 [para. 38].

Hudson, A.H., Declaratory Judgments in Theoretical Cases: The Reality of the Dispute (1976-77), 3 Dal. L.J. 706, generally [para. 71].

Snell's Equity (29th Ed. 1990), pp. 647, 648, 653, 654 [para. 70].

Sullivan, Ruth, Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes (5th Ed. 2008), p. 441 [para. 62].

Williams, Glanville, The Effects of Penal Legislation on the Law of Tort (1960), 23 M.L.R. 233, p. 244 [para. 89].

Woolf, Lord, and Woolf, J., Declaratory Judgment (3rd Ed. 2002), § 4.092 [para. 71].

Counsel:

D. Kent and J.D. Virgin, for the appellant, Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc./Novartis Sante Familiale Canada Inc.;

D. Neave and T. Posyniak (Articled Student), for the appellants, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada and Pfizer Canada Inc.;

W.W. McNamara, S. Chesworth and C. Cummins, for the appellant, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare/Wyeth Soins de Sante Inc.;

J.G. Penner, for the Attorney General of British Columbia;

R. Mogerman, M. Underhill and M. Segal, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on December 11-12, 2013, at Vancouver, B.C., before Newbury, Frankel and Garson, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

On January 30, 2014, Newbury, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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