The class action lawsuit launched from Sechelt that alleges Wyeth Canada Inc. knowingly supplied hormone replacement therapies linked to breast cancer between 1977 and 2003 has just passed another hurdle on its way to the Supreme Court.
A judge denied Wyeth’s appeal of the class action certification on June 15.
“I think it’s just great. It will be nine years since I first filed the lawsuit when this gets to court next September,” said Sechelt’s Dianna Stanway, who launched the suit after being diagnosed with breast cancer allegedly linked to a hormone replacement drug called Premarin, sold by Wyeth.
“I had no idea it would take so long to get to court with all the appeals and whatnot from [Wyeth Canada Inc.],” she said.
Stanway’s lawyers believe Madam Justice Kirk-patrick’s ruling on June 15 is meant to send a message.
“The defendants’ appeal was dismissed in its entirety,” said Toronto lawyer Doug Lennox. “The court ordered the defendants to pay the legal cost of the appeal — the first time that has happened in a class action in 17 years. This shows just how lacking in merit the appeal was.”
Class action lawsuits are meant to help make the cost of prosecution affordable and the process accessible, which Kirkpatrick addressed in her ruling.
“There can be no doubt that the individual claims will face significant challenges of proof. The multiplicity of causative factors in the development of breast cancer and the role of learned intermediaries will certainly complicate the trial of individual claims. However, there can also be no doubt that the determination of the common issues will move the litigation forward, serve judicial economy and improve access to justice,” she said.
The class action lawsuit, which now has more than 100 Canadian women involved, is set to be heard in Supreme Court on Sept. 9, 2013, and Stanway notes more can sign on.
“Until the day before we go to court, people can still sign up for it,” she said.
To find out more, go to www.kleinlyons.com or call 1-604-975-7171.