School Trip Cancellation Class Action
Sotos LLP is working with Travis Payne of Curtis Dawe, Sivan Tumarkin of Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, and Jordan Goldblatt and Alex Fidler-Wener of Adair Goldblatt Bieber LLP to launch a proposed Canada-wide class action against Explorica Canada Inc. (now WorldStrides Canada Inc.), Arch Insurance Canada Ltd. and Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada. The class action seeks to represent all persons in Canada who entered into a contract with Explorica for trip(s) which were to occur any time during the period from January 1, 2020 to the date of certification and whose travel did not occur and/or entered into a contract of insurance with Arch or Old Republic related to such trip(s) and have not received some or all of the monies owed to them.
The court will decide at a later date if the case will proceed as a class action.
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School Trip Cancellation: Updates
- October 20, 2020: Plaintiff issues Statement of Claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
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.
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SCHOOL TRIP CANCELLATION CLASS ACTION
We have been informed that Explorica and the insurers are engaging in a judicial mediation on March 31, 2021. We are not directly involved in the mediation process at this time because the current dispute is primarily focused on which corporation should be providing the refunds to the travellers. Our position has already been communicated to the defendants and the judicial mediator – everyone affected should be provided a refund without further delay.
Mediation is a non-binding form of settlement discussions and any discussions during the mediation cannot be used for or against any party if the matter proceeds to court. We are hopeful that this will result in the conclusion of the matter; however, we cannot make any guarantees at this time. We will provide a further update after we hear the results of the mediation.