The Class Action Clinic at the UWindsor Faculty of Law has received a $3.1 million award from the recent settlement of a $100-million class action lawsuit.
“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 dean Reem Bahdi. “The Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law is the first clinic of its kind in North America.”
A class action lawsuit is a special type of lawsuit used in situations where it may not be feasible or practical for an individual to sue a large defendant, especially if the amount claimed at the individual level is small. A class action lawsuit enables all affected individuals to collectively sue for redress.
“A class action lawsuit facilitates access to justice where it would otherwise not be attainable,” says professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, the clinic’s founder and director. The $3.1 million award is the result of the settlement of the class action lawsuit, MacDonald et al v. BMO Trust Company et al.
“I am impressed with Windsor Law’s long-standing 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.
Kalajdzic said the Class Action Clinic is deeply honoured to have been chosen to receive this significant award.
“This re-affirms 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,” she said.
She noted the clinic provides students with a unique hands-on learning experience as part of their law school education to become ethical, justice-seeking lawyers through teaching, research, advocacy, and service.
“The lawsuit settlement helped thousands of Canadians achieve access to justice for their claim,” said MacDonald.
“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 Prof. Kalajdzic and her team will achieve with this award.”