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Toronto Civil Litigation Law Blog

Motorcycle safety 101

Whether you drive a car, truck or motorcycle, you share the road with other people and vehicles. Motorcycles can sometimes make other drivers nervous due to the fact they are more slender vehicles, they can weave through traffic inconspicuously and the driver is not encased within the vehicle.

Due to these differences, drivers of cars and trucks may not always take the necessary safety precautions when driving around motorcycles.

7 ways to stay safer on your motorcycle this year

There is a stereotype that motorcyclists are dangerous, rule-breaking rebels. However, when it comes to riding, motorcyclists can be just as adamant about being safe and responsible as anyone else.

In fact, statistics from the Ontario Provincial Police in 2017 show that motorists and motorcyclists were roughly equal in terms of causing fatal motorcycle accidents. As such, staying safe involves both avoiding dangerous behaviours and protecting yourself from other dangerous drivers.

Class action litigation against PayPal for alleged hidden fees

PayPal Canada, a global online payments business, is being sued. An Ontario man launched the class action litigation suit recently, claiming PayPal is hiding fees when converting currency -- something that is in violation of its agreement with users. The man, who filed documents with the Ontario Superior Court, says PayPal automatically converts any foreign currency in Canadian residents' accounts to Canadian funds upon withdrawal -- something it shouldn't be doing, he asserts.

The claim states those are unauthorized conversions and PayPal is charging Canadians a fee to convert foreign money when it is withdrawn from a PayPal account in addition to adding a fee to an already charged exchange rate. The allegations have not been proved in court. The man's motion for class action status will be presented in court.

Exploding sunroofs drive class action litigation in Canada

The last thing drivers want to experience as they're driving down a busy highway, or even on a leisurely drive, is to have the sunroofs in their cars explode. Yet, that is the reason for the proposed class action litigation against Hyundai. The lawsuit, which has yet to be certified as class action, was started last year in Canada. 

In about 2011, the car manufacturer began selling vehicles with panoramic sunroofs. However, some of these sunroofs have allegedly shattered without warning, according to some drivers. A Transport Canada report has shown that the Hyundai vehicles in Canada have the most reports of sunroofs shattering. Numbers are similar in the United States. 

Class action litigation in Canada against Airbnb

Airbnb has become a popular way for many people who travel to obtain accommodations. The premise is that people rent out their own dwellings to travellers. However, the company has become the target of class action litigation in Canada launched by a Vancouver strata corporation claiming that Airbnb has rented properties throughout Canada without having the rightful owners' consent and has netted a percentage of money from those rentals without compensating the true owners.

The lawsuit is also being filed on behalf of apartment and home owners who haven't authorized their properties for short-term rental. In most cases, these properties are being listed on Airbnb by tenants living in them, and they apparently have not informed the owners. The issue is difficult to detect due to Airbnb's online set up.

Canada class action litigation: Trouble with Trump Tower

It seems there were problems with Toronto's Trump Tower from the get go. Fraudsters were outed, major investors pulled out at the last minute, and those left as part of this major project in Canada were put together by the person outed. What's worse, none of those involved had any experience in the development process of a condo tower. Such a scenario could lead to possible class action litigation if something were to go wrong, and it did - bankruptcy.

In a 10-year span in Toronto, more than 400 condo towers with 14 storeys or more have been built with success. Only one went belly up after being built - the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto, which remains about three-quarters empty. Every investor lost money except Donald Trump himself, who made millions. Ritz-Carlton, which pulled out of the deal, left investors with many unpaid debts. The main backer become a Toronto billionaire.

Jehovah's Witness leaders face class action litigation

Former and current members of the Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the church protects members who sexually abuse children. The members in Canada have launched a $66 million claim against the leaders of the church. In the class action litigation, they allege that church policies let sexual predators hide in plain sight.

The suit was filed in Ontario on behalf of all Canadians who allegedly suffered abuse by members of the church. Currently, there are 100,000 Jehovah's Witnesses living in the province. A similar claim was launched in Quebec. Since the Ontario suit was commenced, dozens of people have been calling for information. 

False advertising and products liability in Canada

Advertisements are created to sell products and services. But there are times when they're more than just a little embellished. Sometimes they falsely highlight the product or service in an over-the-top pitch to entice further purchases. However, the Competition Act in Canada states that advertising can't be misleading or false, since such ads could lead consumers to buy faulty products which could lead to products liability suits being launched -- one way businesses might be found responsible for making erroneous claims.

Promoting a product falsely could mean ads that are misleading or products are mislabelled or falsely priced. The Competition Act is a federal law regulating how businesses compete against each other. It bans false advertising to the public.

Pharmaceutical liability: Health Canada wants codeine off shelves

Nonprescription codeine is readily available on shelves at pharmacies and most grocery stores in Canada. If Health Canada has anything to say about it, that will be changing in the near future. These sorts of products have been associated with pharmaceutical liability lawsuits across the country. Codeine can be found in many products, including pain medication and cough syrups. Health Canada is promising to make them available by a doctor's prescription only. 

The government body said 600 million tablets with a low dose of codeine were sold across the country in 2015. More than 500 individuals sought treatment for addiction in Ontario treatment centres between 2007 and 2015. They cited nonprescription codeine as the only substance they used. 

Class action litigation: Record award in talc powder case

A woman from Virginia has been awarded more than $110 million in compensation in a suit against the manufacturer of baby powder. The class action litigation alleged that the baby powder created by manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson caused the woman's ovarian cancer. There are about 2,000 such lawsuits against the company in the United States and many more that have been launched in Canada.

The plaintiffs are blaming their health problems on talcum products made by the company and used by consumers for decades. Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal the decision as it is appealing all decisions which have awarded damages to consumers. In the 1970s, research began to find a link between talcum powder and the incidents of cancer in women who used the talc on their genital areas. Studies showed that those who used the product faced up to a 40 percent increased risk of getting ovarian cancer.

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