On March 6, 2017, Roy O'Connor LLP issued a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of a proposed representative plaintiff against medical marijuana producer Mettrum Ltd.
The lawsuit alleges that Mettrum Ltd used unauthorized pest control products in the production of some of its medical marijuana products between September 2014 and November 2016.
A settlement has been reached in this action. The settlement was approved by of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Reasons for Decision released on January 25, 2021 approved as being fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the Class Members.
Class Members will be affected by the settlement. Under Ontario law, if you are a person falling within the Class definition, you will automatically be included in the Class unless you choose to be excluded from this proceeding (as described below). This includes Class Members who reside anywhere in Canada, not just in Ontario. The proposed class definition consists of anyone who purchased the Recalled Products, including dried marijuana and cannabis oil, between September 2014 and November 2016.
Class Members should receive a written notice informing them of the proposed settlement by email or regular mail. A copy of the court-approved Notice of the Proposed Settlement can found in the Documents section of this site.
Mettrum and the Representative Plaintiff have agreed to settle the class action for a total all-inclusive payment of $6.95 million. The settlement was reached following extensive negotiations between the parties. Please click here to view or download a copy of the proposed Settlement Agreement.
Mettrum does not admit any liability, wrongdoing or fault in this matter, and none of the allegations against Mettrum have been proven. The agreement to settle this matter does not imply any such liability, wrongdoing or fault on the part of Mettrum, and Mettrum expressly denies all such liability, wrongdoing and fault.
The $6.95 million will cover all compensation to the Class Members for all damages arising from their purchase of the recalled marijuana medical marijuana from Mettrum and use of such products, legal fees and related disbursements (including taxes), the costs of administration and distribution of money to Class Members, and a 10% statutory levy (as discussed further below). In exchange for its $6.95 million payment, Mettrum will receive a full release of all claims and potential claims that Class Members may have against Mettrum for any sort of alleged or perceived damages.
Class Members do not have to make an application to receive compensation. Compensation payments will be calculated based on a review of Mettrum’s records. Class Members will receive a letter or letters explaining the calculation of their entitlement to compensation for each stage and a corresponding cheque.
The compensation paid to Class Members will be paid from the amount of money remaining after deducting the Court-approved legal fees and disbursements (including taxes) as well as the costs of administering and distributing the money to Class Members, from the $6.95 million. The money to be distributed to the Class Members will reimburse them for some or all of the purchase price paid for any Recalled Products they ordered. The distribution aims to return:
(•) 100% of the purchase price for any Recalled Products that tested positive for trace amounts of myclobutanil (Waves 2 and 3); and
(•) 20% (or possibly more – as discussed further below) of the purchase price for Recalled Products where the plants were exposed to pyrethrins but there were no detectable levels of pyrethrins in the products (Wave 1) and where some of the plants may have been exposed myclobutanil (Wave 4).
The details are set out in the Settlement Agreement aand reference to the precise details of the distribution can be found in that Agreement. In general terms, the settlement will be paid out in two stages. The first stage payments will be based (as set out above) on 100% of the purchase price paid by each Class Member for the Recalled Products involved in Waves 2 and 3, and 20% of the purchase price by each Class Member for Waves 1 and 4. If and to the extent that funds remain after the first stage after one year (e.g. if certain cheques from the first stage are not cashed by some Class Members), the remaining funds will be used to increase the payments for Waves 1 and 4 or, in other words, the remaining funds will be used to top-up the 20% payments for the purchase price paid for those products. The following calculations will be reduced by any refunds already provided by Mettrum.
Given administration expenses, if any payment to a Settlement Class Member totals less than $25.00, that payment will not be made to the Settlement Class Member and will instead remain in Trust with the Settlement Administrator. Any funds remaining after stages one and two above will be paid to a charity (namely: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation).
Class Members cannot yet exclude themselves (opt-out) of this proceeding but will be able to in the event the the near future.
Class Members not wishing to participate in the Class Action and the settlement, or who wish to bring their own lawsuit against Mettrum for any sort of alleged damages will be required to exclude themselves from this proceeding. A summary on the opt-out procedure will be posted to the Documents section of this site in the near future.
The law firms of Roy O’Connor LLP and Wagners LLP are proposed Class Counsel and represent members of this Class Action in Canada. Class Counsel’s contact information is set out below.
Class members do not have to personally pay Class Counsel for the work that they have done or for the disbursements that they have carried since this case began. The Representative Plaintiff entered into a contingency fee agreement with Class Counsel at the outset of the case, providing that Class Counsel are to be paid only in the event of a successful settlement or trial judgment. As provided for in that contingency fee agreement, the Court approved legal fees of 30% of the settlement funds, plus disbursements and applicable taxes. Class Counsel’s approved legal fees and disbursements will be paid out of the $6.95 million total funds paid by the Defendant.
In this case, the Plaintiff has received financial support from the Class Proceedings Fund (the "Fund"), which is a body created by statute and designed to allow access to the courts through class actions in Ontario. The Fund has agreed to reimburse the Plaintiff for some disbursements incurred in pursuing this action. The Fund would also be responsible for costs that may be awarded against the Plaintiff in this case. In exchange, the Fund is entitled to recover, from the settlement, the amount of its funded disbursements and 10% of any amounts that may be payable to Class Members.
For further information about the class proceeding lawsuit please contact Class Counsel at:
Roy O’Connor LLP
Attention: James Katsuras
Further updates about this action will be posted to website as the case develops.