Blue Collar Workers Union / Failure to de-ice
All members who submitted a claim received their compensations.
Summary of the class action
In December of 2004, Ms. Grace Biondi filed a motion to institute a class action against the Blue Collar Workers Union of Montreal and the City of Montreal.
The class action sought compensation for people who suffered damages as a result of the illegal pressure tactics used by members of the Blue Collar Workers Union, who delayed the removal of ice and the spreading of abrasives on the streets and sidewalks of the Ville-Marie Borough between December 5th and 12th 2004.
On November 29, 2005, Mrs. Justice Danielle Grenier of Quebec Superior Court authorized the class action, on behalf of the following class:
All persons who suffered damages from an incident which occurred between December 5th and 12th 2004 due to the illegal pressure tactics used by members of the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301) within the Ville-Marie Borough and had the effect of delaying the removal of ice and the spreading of abrasives on the road and sidewalks of Montreal.
After a lengthy trial on the merits, in September 2010, Justice Grenier rendered judgment for the plaintiffs and condemned the Union and the City to jointly pay each member of the group the amount of his individual claim, plus interest. She also ordered the Blue collar workers Union to pay 2 million dollars in punitive damages to be divided among the members of the group who present a valid claim.
The defendants appealed. In March 2013, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld Mrs. Justice Grenier’s judgment on the merits but also held that the quantification of the punitive damages was premature.
The defendants sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case in September 2013. As a consequence, the judgment rendered on liability by Justice Grenier is final.
Justice Danielle Grenier rendered a judgment on January 14, 2016 ordering the Blue collars of Montreal to pay 2 000 000 $ in punitive damages. The judge found that the gravity of the fault of the Blue Collars and its severe repercussions warrant for an important condemnation in punitive damages.
On February 11, 2016, the Blue Collar Workers Union appealed the decision rendered by Justice Grenier in an attempt to reduce the amount of punitive damages that it must pay class members. On April 25, 2016, the Court of Appeal dismissed the Blue Collar Workers’ Union’s appeal on the bench.
Following the dismissal of the appeal, the Blue Collar workers’ union filed a motion to suspend the execution of the Court of Appeal judgment. On May 16, 2016, Madam Justice Bich of the Court of Appeal rendered a detailed judgment dismissing the Union’s motion to suspend the execution of the Court’s decision.
On June 23, 2016, the Blue Collar Workers’ Union of Montreal filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada from the judgment dismissing the appeal.
On February 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the Blue Collar Union’s appeal. The judgment of the Court of Appeal dismissing the appeal is now final.