SNC-Lavalin Group faces Quebec, Ontario class actions
2013-02-07 07:22 ET - News Release
Mr. Dimitri Lascaris of Siskinds LLP reports
SNC-LAVALIN GROUP INC. SECURITIES CLASS ACTIONS
This notice is directed to all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who acquired securities of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. during the period from and including Nov. 6, 2009, to and including Feb. 27, 2012, other than certain excluded persons associated with the defendants described below.
The certification orders
On Sept. 19, 2012, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified the action "The Trustees of the Drywall Acoustic Lathing and Insulation Local 675 Pension Fund, et al. v SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., et al.," court file No. CV-12-453236-00CP, as a class proceeding, and appointed the trustees of the Drywall Acoustic Lathing and Insulation Local 675 Pension Fund and 0793094 B.C. Ltd. as representative plaintiffs.
On Jan. 24, 2013, Justice Francoeur of the Quebec Superior Court authorized the action "Delaire v SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., et al.," court file No. 200-06-000141-120, as a class proceeding, and appointed Jean-Paul Delaire as representative plaintiff.
The Ontario action has been certified on behalf of the following class: all persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who acquired securities of SNC during the class period, except for: (1) SNC's past and present subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, legal representatives, heirs, predecessors, successors and assigns, and any spouse or child of the defendants Ian A. Bourne, David Goldman, Patricia A. Hammick, Pierre H. Lessard, Edythe A. Marcoux, Lorna R. Marsden, Claude Mongeau, Gwyn Morgan, Michael D. Parker, Hugh D. Segal, Lawrence N. Stevenson, Gilles Laramee, Michael Novak, Pierre Duhaime, Riadh Ben Aissa and Stephane Roy; and (2) those persons who are members of the class authorized in the Quebec action, as described in the next paragraph.
The Quebec action has been authorized on behalf of the following class: all persons who acquired securities of SNC during the class period, who were resident or domiciled in the province of Quebec at the time they acquired such securities, and who are not precluded from participating in a Quebec class action by virtue of Article 999 of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure, except for the excluded persons.
Under Article 999 of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure, a class member that is a legal person established for a private interest, partnership or association is part of the class authorized in the Quebec action only if, at all times during the period from March 1, 2011, to Feb. 29, 2012, not more than 50 persons bound to it by contract of employment were under its direction or control, and if it is dealing at arm's length with the representative of the group. Persons excluded from the class in the Quebec action by virtue of Article 999 are included in the class in the Ontario action.
The certification and authorization orders mean that the Ontario action and the Quebec action may proceed to trial as class actions involving claims under securities legislation described below for damages for misrepresentations in SNC's disclosure documents.
Certification and authorization are preliminary procedural matters. The merits of the claims in the actions, or the allegations of fact on which the claims are based, have not been finally determined by the courts. The defendants deny that the claims in the actions have merit.
The leave orders
On Sept. 19, 2012, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice also granted leave to the plaintiffs in the Ontario action to commence an action under the secondary market liability provisions of the Ontario Securities Act and the analogous provisions of the securities legislation of each other Canadian jurisdiction.
On Jan. 24, 2013, Justice Francoeur of the Quebec Superior Court also granted leave to the plaintiff in the Quebec action to commence an action under the secondary market liability provisions of the Quebec Securities Act.
The only claims being pursued in the class actions are misrepresentation claims under the secondary market liability provisions of the Securities Act of each Canadian province and territory. These claims are subject to damages caps, which limit the amount of damages that can be recovered from the defendants. Plaintiffs' class counsel believe that the potential total damages for the matters alleged in this case may exceed the damages caps. If you wish to pursue other claims against the defendants relating to the matters at issue in the class actions, you should immediately seek independent legal advice because these other claims will be compromised if you do not opt out. See additional information for how to access the claims and the certification orders setting out the matters at issue in the class actions.
Do nothing if you want to participate in the class actions
Class members who want to participate in the Ontario action and the Quebec action are automatically included and need not do anything at this time.
You must opt out if you do not want to participate in the class actions
Class members who do not want to participate in the class actions must opt out. If you want to opt out of the class actions, you must send a signed letter stating that you elect to opt out of the class in the SNC class actions and provide the additional information described below.
In order for your opt-out request to be valid, it must include all of the following information: (i) the date(s) on which you purchased and sold SNC securities; (ii) the number of securities purchased and sold; (iii) the price at which you purchased and sold SNC securities; and (iv) your name, address, telephone number and signature. If you are submitting an opt-out request on behalf of a corporation or other entity, you must state your position and provide your authority to bind the corporation or entity.
Your opt-out request may be sent by fax or mail to NPT RicePoint Class Action Services, Re: SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. securities litigation, P.O. Box 3355, London, Ont., N6A 4K3, Canada, fax: 519-432-6544.
In order for your opt-out request to be valid, it must be postmarked or received no later than May 8, 2013, and it must contain all the requested information.
Each class member who does not opt out of the class actions will be bound by the terms of any judgment or settlement, whether favourable or not, and will not be allowed to prosecute an independent action against any of the defendants for any of the factual matters raised in the class actions. If the class actions are successful, you may be entitled to share in the amount of any award or settlement recovered. In order to determine if you are entitled to share in the award or settlement and the amount, if any, of your share, it may be necessary to conduct an individual determination. There may be costs payable by you if it is determined that you are not entitled to share in the award or settlement. You will have the opportunity to decide if you wish to proceed with your individual determination before it begins.
No person may opt out a minor or a mentally incapable member of the class without permission of the courts after notice to the children's lawyer and/or the public guardian and trustee, as appropriate.
A class member who opts out will not be entitled to participate in the class actions and will not be entitled to share in the amount of any award, if the class actions are successful, or in any settlement achieved, if any.
Class counsel and legal fees
The plaintiffs and the class in the Ontario action are represented by Siskinds LLP and Rochon Genova LLP. The plaintiffs and the class in the Quebec action are represented by Siskinds, Desmeules, Avocats.
In the Ontario action, Siskinds and Rochon Genova are acting on a contingency basis, such that legal fees, disbursements and applicable taxes will be payable only in the event of success in the Ontario action. Siskinds and Rochon Genova are also paying all disbursements incurred in the Ontario action.
In the event of success in the class actions, class counsel will make a motion to the courts to have their fees and disbursements approved.
As a class member, you will not be required to pay any costs in the event that the class actions are unsuccessful.
This notice was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Quebec Superior Court. The court offices cannot answer any questions about the matters in this notice. The claims, orders of the courts and other information are available on class counsel's websites.