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IMPORTANT UPDATE

On April 20, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlements with BMO and CIBC/Simplii Financial. The Court’s orders with respect to BMO can be found here and with respect to CIBC/Simplii Financial here.

On June 2, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec approved the settlement with BMO. The Court’s decision can be found here (French only).

Please check this page for updates on timing of distribution of the settlement funds, which is estimated to take place within approximately six months. You will hear directly from the bank about payments.

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Siskinds LLP and JSS Barristers commenced a proposed class action against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”) and a proposed class action against Bank of Montreal (“BMO”). The proceedings, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, arise from the recently disclosed cybersecurity breaches involving CIBC’s direct banking division, Simplii Financial, and BMO. According to the defendants, the data breaches resulted in the theft of sensitive personal information of up to 40,000 clients of Simplii Financial and up to 50,000 clients of BMO.

The class actions, brought on behalf of the affected clients of Simplii Financial and BMO, allege that each bank failed to establish robust security measures reasonably required of it to protect its clients’ personal information. The lawsuits seek general, compensatory, consequential and punitive damages on behalf of the affected Simplii Financial and BMO clients.

An application for authorization to institute a similar class action has been filed in Quebec by Siskinds, Desmeules, the Quebec firm affiliated with Siskinds LLP. This action has been stayed to give precedence to the Ontario action.

Developments

On September 29, 2020, a tentative settlement of the class action against CIBC was reached. The proposed settlement requires the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

On October 3, 2020, a tentative settlement of the class actions against BMO was reached. The proposed settlement requires the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Québec.

On October 7, 2020, the Ontario Court certified both the CIBC and the BMO class actions being litigated by the national consortium out of Ottawa.

  • The BMO class action was certified for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person who is a current or former client of BMO whose Personal Information was impacted as a result of the Data Breach;* and
  • The CIBC class action was certified for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person who is a current or former client of Simplii Financial who was notified by Simplii Financial that their Personal Information was accessed or accessible as part of the Data Breach.*

*Data Breach means the unauthorized access by third-party cybercriminals to the Class Members’ Personal Information through the Defendant’s computer systems and networks, which was publicly disclosed by the Defendant on May 28, 2018.

On November 9, 2020, the Québec Court authorized the class action against BMO filed by Siskinds, Desmeules in Québec. The action was authorized for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person in Quebec who is a current or former client of BMO whose personal information was breached as a result of the Data Breach announced on or about May, 27, 2018.

The deadlines to opt-out of the actions were February 10, 2021 for the BMO action and February 15, 2021 for the CIBC action. Class members were contacted directly with information about the settlement approval hearings, their rights respecting settlement approval, and the opt-out process. For more information, please see the BMO Notice or  CIBC Notice, and the “Documents” tab, which contains all relevant documents respecting the proposed settlements.

On April 20, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlements with BMO and CIBC/Simplii Financial. The Court’s orders with respect to BMO can be found here and with respect to CIBC/Simplii Financial here.

On June 2, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec approved the settlement with BMO. The Court’s decision can be found here (French only)

Please check this page for updates on timing of distribution of the settlement funds, which is estimated to take place within approximately six months. You will hear directly from the bank about payments.

FAQs

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does certification mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. After the class action is certified, you will be given an opportunity to opt-out (exclude yourself from the class action). If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in any settlement or court award achieved in the class action, but you will be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the contact form below.

On September 29, 2020, a tentative settlement of the class action against CIBC was reached. The proposed settlement requires the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

On October 3, 2020, a tentative settlement of the class actions against BMO was reached. The proposed settlement requires the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Québec.

On October 7, 2020, the Ontario Court certified both the CIBC and the BMO class actions being litigated by the national consortium out of Ottawa.

  • The BMO class action was certified for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person who is a current or former client of BMO whose Personal Information was impacted as a result of the Data Breach;* and
  • The CIBC class action was certified for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person who is a current or former client of Simplii Financial who was notified by Simplii Financial that their Personal Information was accessed or accessible as part of the Data Breach.*

*Data Breach means the unauthorized access by third-party cybercriminals to the Class Members’ Personal Information through the Defendant’s computer systems and networks, which was publicly disclosed by the Defendant on May 28, 2018.

On November 9, 2020, the Québec Court authorized the class action against BMO filed by Siskinds, Desmeules in Québec. The action was authorized for settlement purposes on behalf of the following class: Any person in Quebec who is a current or former client of BMO whose personal information was breached as a result of the Data Breach announced on or about May, 27, 2018.

The deadlines to opt-out of the actions were February 10, 2021 for the BMO action and February 15, 2021 for the CIBC action. Class members were contacted directly with information about the settlement approval hearings, their rights respecting settlement approval, and the opt-out process. For more information, please see the BMO Notice or  CIBC Notice, and the “Documents” tab, which contains all relevant documents respecting the proposed settlements.

On April 20, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlements with BMO and CIBC/Simplii Financial. The Court’s orders with respect to BMO can be found here and with respect to CIBC/Simplii Financial here.

On June 2, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec approved the settlement with BMO. The Court’s decision can be found here (French only)

Please check this page for updates on timing of distribution of the settlement funds, which is estimated to take place within approximately six months. You will hear directly from the bank about payments.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does certification mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. After the class action is certified, you will be given an opportunity to opt-out (exclude yourself from the class action). If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in any settlement or court award achieved in the class action, but you will be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the contact form below.

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