Ontario – Appeals combined where stay of proceedings impacts class certification – #788

In Davis v Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services, ULC, 2023 ONCA 634 the Court combined two appeals initiated in two different courts arising from a single decision that concerned two interrelated motions. One was an appeal of a stay of proceedings in favour of arbitration granted pursuant to  s. 7 of the Arbitration Act, 1991, S.O. 1991, c. 17 (“Arbitration Act”) and the other was an appeal of a decision denying class certification. The Plaintiff appealed the decision denying class certification to the Divisional Court, as required by the then applicable version of the class proceedings legislation [Class Proceedings Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c 6 (“CPA”)]  and appealed the stay decision to the Court of Appeal. The Plaintiff then applied to the Court of Appeal to transfer the class certification appeal from the Divisional Court to the Court of Appeal and join it to the stay appeal. The Court granted the application. It concluded that to do so was in the interests of the administration of justice. The Court found that, as some of the proposed class members (although not the representative plaintiff) were alleged to be subject to arbitration agreements, “the appeal of the stay decision goes directly to who may be class members and is completely premised on certification being under consideration” (para. 14). The Court was of the view this finding weighed strongly in favour of the appeals being combined “so that they can be managed, sequenced, considered, and decided taking into account and specifying the effect a decision in one may have on the other” (para. 13). 

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