Livingston International Class Action
October 1, 2014: Sotos LLP, together with the law firms of Roy O’Connor LLP and Goldblatt Partners LLP, launched a proposed class action lawsuit against Livingston International Inc. for unpaid overtime on behalf of a representative plaintiff (former employee).
This case is brought on behalf of current and former non-management employees who are in administrative, clerical, technical or other support job classifications, and worked at any of Livingston’s offices across Canada. The class would include, for example, import analysts, release clerks, file clerks, transportation staff, runners, scanners and accounting staff.
Livingston International is a leading customs broker and freight forwarding organization with offices located across Canada. Goods are shipped into Canada at an extremely high volume. Import and customs brokerage services at Livingston are performed on demand (whenever goods arrive) and are time sensitive. The plaintiff’s statement of claim alleges that employees are not appropriately paid for overtime hours that they often work to get their jobs done in such circumstances. The claim seeks payment for such unpaid overtime and also seeks to challenge various aspects of Livingston`s overtime policy.
The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in Court. The merit of the allegations in the claim will be addressed if and when the case proceeds toward trial (as discussed below). Click here to view or download a copy of the Statement of Claim.
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Livingston International Updates
- November 17, 2016: Justice Gray of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered that the class action brought on behalf of current and former employees of Livingston International Inc. be certified as a class action. The class action alleges that, since August 15, 2007, Livingston has failed to pay class members compensation for overtime worked.
The class action will now proceed to trial. A copy of the certification decision can be found here. The notice of certification can be here, English and French.
- November 17, 2016: Class Action against Livingston International Inc. was certified. Decision of Certification of Judge Gray.
Livingston International News
Frequently Asked Questions
A class action is a special form of lawsuit in which one plaintiff brings a claim against one or more defendants based on allegations which are common to a group, or class, of people. In order for the action to become a class action, it must proceed through a stage known as “certification”.
A statement of claim is issued on behalf of a “representative plaintiff”. The representative plaintiff’s role is to work with class counsel to bring the action forward and to represent the class members in court.
In order for an action to proceed on behalf of the entire class, a judge must decide (among other things) whether the members of the proposed class have common issues, and whether a class action is the preferred way to resolve the issues. The process to decide these issues is known as the “certification motion”. If the judge is satisfied that the case meets all of the requirements for certification, he or she will issue an order which certifies the action as a class action.
No. If the lawsuit is certified, and you are included in the class as defined, you are automatically included in the lawsuit.
No. We will work primarily with the class representative.
Those who do not wish to remain in the class will be given the option to opt-out by sending an opt-out form at the appropriate time to us.
Certification as a class action will enable us to prove the facts in a single lawsuit rather than in numerous individual lawsuits. This has obvious benefits to the class members and to the courts.
There is no timeframe. We will move the case forward diligently but it can take a considerable period of time to reach trial.
Many class actions settle and thereby remove the need for a trial. However, we cannot predict with any certainty whether or not there will be a settlement in a given action.
The chances of “winning” can never be accurately predicted.
Class action lawsuits are typically brought on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyers will only be paid if the action is successful at trial or results in a settlement in favour of the plaintiffs. Legal fees would then be paid out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by a judge.
Disbursements (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses, including expert reports) may be dealt with in one of two ways.
Most commonly, the lawyers will absorb the cost of disbursements. The lawyers may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund, which may provide funding for disbursements if granted.
In some cases, disbursements may be funded by the class members, including the class representative. This typically occurs in smaller class actions brought on behalf of an organization or network of individuals where each member of the class is easily identifiable and known to the representative plaintiff. If the class action is successful, amounts advanced for disbursements are re-paid from the proceeds of any judgment or settlement to class members (and others).
Only the class representative may be liable for costs of the common issues portion of the action if it is unsuccessful.
A “payout” or an award for damages is never certain.
The action may settle or it may proceed to trial, at which time a judge will determine the amount of damages, if any, to which the class members are entitled to. Regardless, the amount of “payout” cannot be predicted, and we cannot predict when the action may settle or when the trial will conclude.
If the lawsuit is certified as a class action, you will receive a formal notice from the court explaining the nature of the case and providing you with the opportunity to opt out if you wish. General information about the lawsuit will be posted on Sotos LLP’s website at https://www.sotosclassactions.com.
We ask that you keep a copy of any documents, correspondences, records, invoices, receipts, etc. that you feel might be relevant to your individual claim in the class action. If there is a “payout,” this documentation may be required in order to support your claim for compensation.
It is not required that you send any documents to us at this time.