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1. On January 11, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced that an external hard drive containing the private details of some 583,000 Canadians went missing. According to the press release, the Government of Canada has known about this since November 5, 2012.
2. The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP (now Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP) , Charney Lawyers and Branch MacMaster LLP commenced a proposed class action against the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of all persons whose information was lost. Bob Buckingham Law also commenced a proposed class action against the Attorney General of Canada with respect to the same matter. The four law firms have agreed to work together. Two other law firms, Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP and Siskinds LLP commenced proposed class actions against the Attorney General of Canada with respect to the same matter, but each agreed that those actions would be stayed.
3. Click here to review the Consolidated Statement of Claim.
4. Our initial information was that, if you were a student loan borrower between the years 2000-2006 from any province besides Quebec, or the territories of Nunavut or the Northwest Territories, you may be entitled to compensation and asked that you register your claim.
5. An announcement made in a government posting February 19, 2013 said, in part:
Please be advised that the electronic storage device containing personal information of 583,000 Canada Student Loan borrowers who were clients of the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) from 2000-2006 also contained personal information of affected clients who fall outside the 2000-2006 period. Of the individuals affected, 2,800 fall outside the 2000-2006 period and of those 2,600 are in 2007. The department has already communicated with over 1,600 of these affected borrowers. Efforts continue to locate current contact information for all affected borrowers.
6. All potential class members should register with www.studentloansclassaction.com. The law firms are working together and trying to consolidate all registrations. Even if you have registered with one of the other firms, it is important that you register at www.studentloansclassaction.com and keep that registration up-to-date.
7. Borrowers may be entitled to compensation for the breach of their privacy, damages for identity theft and/or damages to their credit reputation, damages for the costs incurred to prevent identity theft, damages for the time spent changing your personal information such as your Social Insurance Number, damages for emotional distress/inconvenience, and/or compensation for out of pocket expenses. Punitive damages will also be claimed because the Government failed to disclose the breach of privacy for 2 months.
8. The certification hearing took place on December 17 and 18, 2013 at the Federal Court, in the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario.
9. On March 17, 2014, this action was certified as a class action by the Federal Court. Click here to review the Reasons for Judgment and Judgment of the court. The decision was under appeal. On July 6, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision in favour of the plaintiffs. Click here to review the Reasons for Judgment of the court. Click here to view the Order (Certification). Click here to view the Notice of Certification in English. Click here to view the Notice of Certification in French. Click here to download the Opt Out Form to fill out if you do not want to participate in the class action.
10. The parties have agreed to a schedule for exchanging documents Document production is currently underway. At this time, Class Counsel is reviewing and analyzing thousands of documents received from the defendant.
11. Examinations for discovery were scheduled to proceed during the months of January and February, 2017, however due to the extensive volume of documents produced by the defendant, the examinations will be delayed until Class Counsel has completed their review of all the documents.
12. A case conference will take place on November 8, 2017 with the Honourable Madam Justice Gagné to set a schedule for the steps leading up to trial. A further update will be posted after the case conference occurs.
13. We will continue to update this website as developments occur.
14. If you prefer, you may contact us toll-free at 1.866.225.9530.
15. If you would like to know more about how a class action works, please click here.
This website provides general information to class members on a class action commenced against the Attorney General of Canada. The court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member.
- What is the class action about?
This class action against the Government of Canada pertains to the loss of the personal information of student loan applicants in the years 2000-2007. In addition, the government has said that some people may be outside this time period.
- What are you claiming?
We are claiming damages (money) for breach of privacy, identity theft and/or damages to credit reputation, damages for the costs incurred to prevent identity theft, damages for the time spent changing your personal information such as your Social Insurance Number, damages for emotional distress/inconvenience, and/or compensation for out of pocket expenses.
- How much money will I receive?
It is impossible to determine how much money you will receive at this time. If the class action is successful, each person will be required to come forward and prove their individual claim for damages. A person who suffered identity theft will receive more compensation than a person who did not. Ultimately, the court will make guidelines to determine how each person will be compensated if we are successful in the action.
- What should I do to prove my claim?
Keep track of the time spent on the phone with banks and other institutions monitoring your credit rating and changing passwords. If you spend any money on credit protection, keep a copy of the receipts. Click here for a form that you may download to help you in keeping track of your time and expenses. Please keep the form, with all your supporting documents together in a safe place. We do NOT require them at this time and we will notify you should we need them later. At that time, you will be able to upload copies into your registration.
- How long will the class action take?
It isn’t possible to predict how long the class action will take to reach a resolution. The length of the case is often dependent upon whether the defendant wishes to resolve the case quickly.
- What is the purpose of the registration system available at www.studentloansclassaction.com?
Registration does NOT make you a class member. The court will ultimately decide on the class definition at the motion for certification.
Registration also does not obligate you personally in any way to the lawyers involved. Your registration assists the lawyers to better educate themselves about the class and their damages.
Registration ensures that the lawyers will be able to contact you quickly if information is needed, or if you are required to take action, such as filling out certain forms according to court imposed deadlines. At this time, there are no such deadlines.
If you do not register, you can still participate in the action, but we will not be able to easily contact you.
- Will it cost me anything?
The lawyers will be paid in the event of success only. You will never need to pay the lawyers out of your own pocket. If we are successful, the lawyers will ask the court to approve their fees, disbursements and taxes thereon. Any amounts approved by the court will be paid out of the recovery.
- How much will the lawyers be paid?
If we are successful, the lawyers will ask the court to approve their fees, disbursements and taxes thereon. The lawyers will give notice to the class before a settlement approval date, and any Class Members who object to the fees will be given an opportunity to make an objection. Typically, the lawyers ask for a percentage of the recovery. The lawyers may ask for up to 33% of the recovery, depending on the amount of the recovery and the length of time it takes to bring the action to a successful conclusion.
- How can I keep updated on the class action?
Check back at www.studentloansclassaction.com often. The website will be updated regularly. Please consider using the world wide web to keep updated rather than calling by telephone.
- Should I register on www.studentloansclassaction.com even though I already registered with one of the other law firms?
Please register your claim with www.studentloansclassaction.com if you have not already done so. The four law firms are working together and trying to consolidate all registrations at www.studentloansclassaction.com.
- Should I take the Government of Canada up on its offer of credit protection?
We have a number of unanswered questions and concerns about the offer of credit protection. We have written to the lawyers for the Government of Canada seeking clarification. Until we receive clarification, we cannot provide you with any guidance on this issue.
- If I take the Government of Canada up on its offer of credit protection, can I still participate in the class action?
Yes. You still have a claim for the time spent changing your passwords to protect your identity, damages for breach of contract and emotional upset. If your identity is stolen, you will have additional claims.
- Should I still continue to pay the outstanding balance on my student loans?
Yes. Your obligation to pay your loans back is not affected by this lawsuit.
- My family members were named on the application for student loans. Should they register too?
At this time, the Government of Canada has advised that the information of family members was not compromised. As such, we are not asking for family members to register.
July 06, 2015
On July 6, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision in favour of the plaintiffs