A first in Canada: Class action over loss of personal information dismissed on the merits

On March 26, 2021, the Superior Court rendered a landmark judgment dealing with the loss of personal information, Lamoureux c. OCRCVM, 2021 QCCS 1093. Madam Justice Florence Lucas, J.C.S. dismisses the class action filed by the plaintiff, Danny Lamoureux in its entirety in the first judgment rendered at the merits stage for a matter involving a of loss of personal information in Québec and in Canada.

On February 22, 2013, an inspector working for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (the IIROC) forgot his laptop computer on a train. The missing computer contained certain personal information relating to individuals collected from securities brokers who were under inspection. Despite IIROC’s best efforts, the computer was never found.

In the wake of that loss, a class action was first brought by Mr. Sofio. His suit was dismissed at the authorization stage, there being no right to compensation, as the petitioner had failed to demonstrate a compensable injury. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment. Following this setback, Mr. Lamoureux started his own class action, which was authorized in October 2017. Contrary to Mr. Sofio, Mr. Lamoureux pleaded that he had indeed been victimized by the theft of his personal information.

The Court dismissed the action in its entirety, for want of preponderant evidence of all the elements of civil liability.

The judgment clarifies and confirms the circumstances that can give rise to damage awards for personal information losses.

The judgment also establishes that where evidence establishes a rapid and diligent response, in compliance with applicable standards in such circumstances, the plaintiff would not be entitled to receive punitive damages.

This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 13 h 32 min.