Medical Marihuana Privacy Breach Class Action
Summary Judgment Motion Argued
A summary judgment motion took place over three days before a judge of the Federal Court in Ottawa concluding on October 26, 2023. The decision is under reserve.
On or about November 18, 2013, Health Canada mailed letters to approximately 40,000 medical marijuana users across Canada alerting them to major changes in Medical Marihuana Access Program commencing on April 1, 2014. The envelope containing the letter referred explicitly to the "Medical Marihuana Access Program" with the name of the participant on the outside.
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, George Da Pont, deputy minister at Health Canada issued an apology on the Health Canada website describing the mailing as an administrative error. The apology stated: "I have been advised that as the result of an administrative error the envelopes were labelled to indicate that they were sent by the Program. This is not standard Health Canada practice." The apology went on to state: "We are in discussion with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada."
Charney Lawyers, in collaboration with the law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, Branch MacMaster LLP and McInnes Cooper have agreed to work together on the prosecution of a proposed class action against the Government of Canada on behalf of all persons who were sent a letter from Health Canada in an envelope that referred explicitly to the "Medical Marihuana Access Program". On December 11, 2013, the law firms filed an amended statement of claim in the Federal Court of Canada.
If the case is successful, participants in the Medical Marihuana Access Program who received the November 2013 letter from Health Canada in an envelope that referenced the "Medical Marijuana Access Program" may be entitled to compensation for the breach of their privacy, damages for emotional distress/inconvenience, and/or compensation for out of pocket expenses.
UPDATE - June 24, 2016 - Ted Charney, along with Ward Branch and David Fraser, appeared before the Federal Court of Appeal to resist the defendant’s appeal from the certification order of the Federal Court. The Federal Court of Appeal affirmed that plaintiffs’ claims in negligence and breach of confidence were properly certified at first instance. Read the Reasons for Judgment here.
UPDATE - April 23, 2014 - Certification hearings will take place before Justice Phelan of the Federal Court of Canada at 1815 Upper Water Street, in the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 11 and 12, 2015, starting at 9:30 am.
UPDATE - April 23, 2014 - The Chronicle Herald recently reported on the Medical Marihuana Privacy Breach Class Action. Read the article here.
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The information collected about potential class members will assist counsel in prosecuting the class action and assessing what damages were suffered by the class as a whole. Providing the information requested does not make you the client of Charney Lawyers. The court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member.
This website will be updated from time to time to provide potential class members with information as it becomes available.