Environmental Damage Class Action to Proceed to Trial
Posted in Environmental

In what could be a precedent-setting case, on November 18, 2005, Ontario's Court of Appeal certified a $750 million class-action suit alleging damages from environmental contamination caused by an Inco refinery in a southwestern Ontario community.  Inco sought leave to appeal of the Court of Appeal's decision in February 2006. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied in June 2006.

This case is believed to be the first class-action certified for long-term environmental damage in Canada.  The case arises as a result of a report that was released by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in September 2000 stating that Inco had discharged contaminants into the natural environment that posed a risk to the environment and to human health for some of the residents of Port Colborne. The claim alleges that the release of this report had a serious impact upon property values in the Port Colbornearea.

Following several years of trial preparation and discovery, the two-month long common issues trial is scheduled to take place in September 2008, in Welland, Ontario.


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Lawson Lundell's Environmental, Indigenous and Natural Resources Blog focuses on environmental, indigenous and natural resources law, as well as related litigation. Included are summaries of significant cases from Canadian appellate courts, changes in the legal framework governing resource development including energy and climate change policy, and key decisions from the more influential regulatory bodies in Canada.

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