Intervet Canada Corp., et al. v. Jessica Gagnon, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Civil procedure - Class actions, Certification - Civil procedure — Class actions — Certification — Scope of class — Overbreadth — Product liability — Consumer protection — Tick and flea medication for dogs — Dogs owned by prospective class representatives sustaining injuries following administration of drug — Courts below authorizing class action — Whether, in a pharmaceutical product liability class action, the class definition can include adverse reactions that do not share a substantial common ingredient with those allegedly experienced by the class representatives — Whether the Consumer Protection Act of Quebec applies to the sale of veterinary prescription drugs.


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The applicants are the Canadian distributors and manufacturers of the product Bravecto, a drug prescribed by veterinarians to kill ticks and fleas that infest domestic animals such as dogs. The respondents are dog owners whose pets sustained injuries following the administration of Bravecto. They applied for authorization before the Superior Court to represent a class of dog owners who sustained Bravecto-related injuries. The Superior Court granted the application in part. Authorization to represent the class of dog owners was granted solely to the respondent Ms. Gagnon. On appeal, the court added the respondent Ms. Olenitch as class representative; broadened the claim period; removed “suspected lack of efficacy” as a condition giving rise to inclusion in the class; included “death” as a condition giving rise to inclusion in the class; and determined that the Consumer Protection Act of Quebec could in fact be listed as a common issue to be decided on the merits of the class action.