Another win for environmental class actions

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Environmental class actions are beginning to line up a string of successes. Readers will recall the landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v. Barrette, which found in favour of neighbours of a cement factory who had filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that the factory’s activities caused excessive disturbances, mainly dust.

This month, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded $36-million in the long-awaited Inco class action to Port Colbourne residents. Inco operated a nickel refinery that was found responsible for having contaminated nearby properties with airborne metals, particularly nickel, thereby causing drops in value. The ruling shows promise for future environmental class actions, particularly as the trial judge had to juggle with a number of complex legal issues. Blakes has more here.

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