Written by Amanda C. McLachlan and Ranjan K. AgarwalOn July 31, 2013, problem gamblers in Ontario were denied certification of a proposed class action commenced against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Writing for a unanimous panel in Dennis v Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Justice Robert Sharpe dismissed a proposed class action commenced by individuals who signed a self-exclusion form restricting their access to OLGC sites.
The Court of Appeal's decision in Dennis is a clear reminder to class action plaintiffs that the hurdle imposed by section 5(1) of the Class Proceedings Act will serve as a roadblock for cases advancing only tenuous claims of systemic liability. Notwithstanding growing criticism following a number of decisions that appeared to create a "plaintiff friendly" zone for certification in Ontario, where certification fails to advance the goals of the CPA or will require resolution of a multitude of individual issues, the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Dennis suggests it will be denied.
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