A clinic at the University of Windsor’s faculty of law has been awarded $3.1 million from a recent class action lawsuit.
The settlement, worth $100 million, was over an undisclosed fee BMO charged customers on foreign exchange transactions. The court ruled in favour of plaintiffs in February 2020.
The Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law participated in the legal win while giving students hands-on experience.
“This award to the clinic is an important next step in Windsor Law’s rich history of upholding an access to justice mission for Canadians,” said Reem Bahdi, dean of Windsor Law.
“The Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law is the first clinic of its kind in North America.”
Jasminka Kalajdzic, a law professor at the university and founder and director of the Class Action Clinic, said the clinic is “deeply honoured” to receive the award.
“This reaffirms the important work of the clinic and will permit it to accelerate its focus on helping Canadians across the country in their pursuit of justice through their involvement in current and future class action lawsuits.”
The lawyers for the class suit, on the recommendation of the plaintiffs, recommended that the clinic receive half of the unclaimed money in the settlement. A second recipient — United Way Toronto — was chosen to receive the other half.
“I am impressed with Windsor Law’s longstanding commitment to improving access to justice and with the work of the Class Action Clinic,” said James MacDonald, one of the lawsuit’s lead plaintiffs.
“The lawsuit settlement helped thousands of Canadians achieve access to justice for their claim.
“Similarly, I have every confidence that this award will propel the essential work of the Class Action Clinic further and faster to also help many more thousands of Canadians for many years to come. On behalf of the class members of the lawsuit, we look forward to the impact professor Kalajdzic and her team will achieve with this award.”
The Class Action Clinic was created in 2019 to assist with all stages of class action litigation, including the claims process. The clinic has helped well over 100 class members recover more than $1 million in complex settlement claims processes to date and has also intervened at the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal on legal issues of widespread importance.