On July 26, the Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo of the Superior Court of Quebec rendered a judgment granting the motion for authorization to discontinue. The reasons for this motion to discontinue are set out below in the “Discontinuance” section.
On July 27, 2017, TJL notified to the defendants and filed with the court the notice of discontinuance terminating the class action. The class action is, therefore, over and the potential members of the group are no longer represented by the class action.
The discontinuance also means that the limitation periods (i.e. “prescription”) are no longer suspended and have started to run again on July 27, 2017.
You may bring an action on your own if you wish, but you will have to consider that the limitation period will have started to run again. For more information on prescription, you can consult the Educaloi website.
The Class Action
In 2007, Pfizer introduced the drug Champix into the Canadian market, publicly alleging that it was capable of aiding smokers to quit smoking and this without any serious side effects to their health.
A class action was instituted in Quebec to compensate members for the adverse effects caused by this drug. The class is defined as follows in the motion seeking authorization:
All persons residing in Québec, who have purchased or ingested the drug CHAMPIX and the heirs, family members and dependants of said persons”
“All persons residing outside of Québec, who have purchased or ingested the drug CHAMPIX and the heirs, family members and dependants of said persons.
A class action has been instituted in Ontario with the same cause of action and it was agreed that it was in everyone’s interest to proceed in Ontario.
In April 2016, a double-blind study commissioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) found no association between Champix and neuropsychiatric adverse events (« EAGLES study »).
Class counsel in Ontario determined that the likelihood of the plaintiff winning a common issues trial are remote. They, therefore, filed a motion of discontinuance to the Superior Court which granted a discontinuance order in April 2017. The Ontario class action is therefore terminated.
On May 23, 2017, TJL filed a motion for authorization to discontinue for the same reasons as the Ontario class counsel.