RE: The Walkerton Tainted Water Class Action
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We made a significant contribution to the resolution of a class action relating to our provincial government’s failure to provide safe drinking water to the citizens of Walkerton in Midwestern Ontario in the case of Smith v. Brockton (Municipality). The class in that case had suffered damages due to an e.coli outbreak that killed seven people and caused illness to thousands of others. Damages were also caused by a lengthy interruption in the delivery of potable water to the citizens of the small town following the tragedy. We were part of a team of Canada’s best class action lawyers who were able to achieve an agreement that, in principle, allows for 100 percent compensation for all types of damages and reasonable legal costs to over 5,000 plaintiffs. The settlement was achieved within 8 months. We successfully co-ordinated with the other class counsel, becoming a “firm of firms”, spreading the risk and combining our expertise. Our provincial government vigorously denied liability in the months following the outbreak. The resolution in this case has been called the finest class action result in Canadian history.