In a class action brought by Abbott Pharmaceuticals, which seeks certification of common issues that include whether there is a causal connection between the use of certain drugs and adverse medical conditions?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Charlton v. Abbott Laboratories, Ltd., 2013 BCSC 21 (CanLII):

Abbott also relies on Stanway v. Wyeth, 2010 BCSC 1497, which raised issues similar to those in this application. The action there sought certification of common issues that included whether there was a causal connection between the use of certain drugs and certain adverse medical conditions. Prior to the certification hearing, the defendant sought medical and prescription records of the representative plaintiff. The court canvassed authorities from other Canadian jurisdictions, and at para. 21 summarized: The principles thus derived are: 1. Precertification disclosure is ordered in the exceptional case where the defendant demonstrates that the record before the court for the certification hearing will be inadequate for consideration of the issues at that stage of the proceedings. 2. In considering whether an order for disclosure ought to be made the court must address the goals of judicial economy, access to justice, and behaviour modification. 3. It can be assumed that each individual's medical record will be unique. However, the medical evidence suggesting the significance of the individual factors of those who may have been prescribed and ingested the prescription drug may be necessary to furnish the evidentiary record; and specifically in British Columbia, 5. There is no right to examine the representative plaintiff or other affiants in British Columbia; an order of the court is required. 6. In British Columbia, in accordance with the Act, the court must consider whether the claims of the class members raise common issues, whether or not those common issues predominate over issues affecting only individual members, and whether questions of fact or law common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.

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