Marie-Andrée Vermette, partner at WeirFoulds LLP, discussed the recent decision in the Trillium Motor World class action against GM Canada and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP with Canadian Lawyer Inhouse. Marie-Andrée was part of a team from WeirFoulds that included Bryan Finlay and Michael Statham that represented Trillium Motor World in the case.
On July 8, 2015, Justice Thomas McEwen found Cassels Brock owed contractual and fiduciary duties to some or all of GM dealers in the class and awarded damages against Cassels Brock in the amount of C$45 million for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and professional negligence.
According to Justice McEwen, Cassels breached its duties to the dealers and acted irresponsibly and unprofessionally in accepting retainers for both the GMCL dealers and the Canadian Government in relation to the GM auto bailout, and in failing to have an effective conflicts checking in place. Justice McEwen also found that Cassels had breached its duties to the dealers in acting for two groups of dealers that had divergent and adverse interests.