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. Such people are commonly referenced as “class members.” Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.
Who is affected by the Silver Wheaton class action?
The class action has been brought on behalf of persons and entities who acquired Silver Wheaton’s securities:
- in the prospectus offering dated March 9, 2015; and/or
- in the secondary market during the period from August 14, 2013 to July 6, 2015, inclusive (the “Class Period”), where such persons
i. are resident or domiciled in Canada or were resident or domiciled in Canada at the time of such acquisitions, regardless of the location of the exchange on which they acquired their Silver Wheaton Securities; or
ii. acquired Silver Wheaton’s Securities in the secondary market in Canada or elsewhere, other than in the United States.
Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?
No. Class members do not incur costs in connection with 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.
What does “certification” mean?
Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action on behalf of the class members. In certifying the lawsuit 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). After the court certifies the lawsuit as a class action, usually notices will be disseminated to the class members. These notices will advise the class members that the lawsuit has been certified, and they will also set out the issues that the court will be asked to determine on behalf of the class members. At this stage, the court will also fix a time period during which the class members may exclude themselves from the class action lawsuit by filing an opt-out form. Class members who do not opt from the class action by the deadline that will be fixed by the court will be bound by the outcome of the class action.
How can I join the class action?
There are no steps required to “join” this class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you would be automatically included in the class action unless you “opt out” (exclude yourself from the class action) after the lawsuit has been certified as a class action. Notices will be issued to the affected persons after the court certifies 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 may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, the class members would only want to opt out of a class action if they 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.
What should I do to protect my rights?
To protect your rights, you should:
- Keep records of any purchases and sales of the common shares or other securities of Silver Wheaton during the period from August 14, 2013 to July 6, 2015, inclusive.
- Register above with Siskinds in order to receive updates about the class action. By submitting your information to Siskinds you do not retain Siskinds as your lawyers, nor do you incur costs in connection with this class action.
- While the class action is pending, notices will be disseminated to the class members advising that they should take certain steps by specific deadlines in order to preserve their rights. This information will also be made available on Siskinds’ website. These deadlines will usually be fixed by the courts, and will need to be adhered with in order to protect your rights.
I still have a question. Who should I contact?
If you have a question, please use the contact form provided on this page.