June 27, 2018
Thibault, Gagnon, Ruel
Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court allowing an application for declaratory judgment. Dismissed.
The trial judge authorized the respondent’s representatives to meet with the members of the class action to present them with an out-of-court individual settlement offer.
A member is not obliged to be a party to a class action. It is up to members to opt out and thus keep their complete freedom to contract and to enter into a transaction with the other party until the period of time set to opt out expires. Conversely, members who decide not to opt out of a class action are subject to the rules governing this procedural vehicle, including the rule under art. 590 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CQLR, c. C-25.01), which subjects the validity of the transaction to the Court’s approval.
In this case, the trial judge clearly pointed out this distinction by stating that, at this stage of the file, when the date and terms of opting out and the period covered by the class action have not been determined, it would be contrary to the members’ rights to prevent them from accepting the compensation offered.
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