Isnardy v. Her Majesty The Queen, Federal Court: T-2012-19

What is the claim about?

In 2019, Murphy Battista LLP filed a proposed class action against the Government of Canada (“Canada”) on behalf of Michael Daryl Isnardy, (the “Plaintiff”) and Aboriginal and First Nations people who have consumed unsafe drinking water on Reserves and who have been unable to use water from their community water systems because the water is not potable (the “Class Members”). Murphy Battista LLP is working with Gowling WLG on this matter.

The class action takes the position that Canada has equitable, legal and statutory duties, including obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to the Plaintiff and the Class Members to provide them with safe drinking water.

The claim seeks declarations that Canada has breached its duties and a duty of care to the Plaintiff and the Class Members by:

  • creating, contributing to, and allowing unsafe drinking water conditions to exist and continue in Aboriginal and First Nation communities on Reserves, and
  • failing to take reasonable and effective measures to provide safe drinking water.

The claim also seeks damages, special damages, and exemplary damages against Canada for alleged systemic negligence demonstrated by failing to take reasonable and effective measures to address the conditions causing unsafe drinking water to occur and continue on Reserves.

The claim also seeks recovery of health care costs incurred by provincial and territorial health insurers on behalf of the Plaintiff and the Class Members.

Click to read First Nations Drinking Water – Statement of Claim

Who does it affect?

In addition to the Plaintiff, a member of the Toosey First Nation Band (Tl’esqox), the claim is made on behalf of a class of all persons who are:

  • “Aboriginal” people within the meaning of s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, or
  • “Indian” within the meaning of the Indian Act, and
  • members of First Nations Bands that are located on “Indian Reserves” as defined under Schedule 2 to the Constitution Act, 1930.

Questions about Class Membership?

Please email us at [email protected] and we will help you.

How does a class action work?

A “class action” is a claim filed by an individual who proposes to represent all other similarly affected individuals (the “class”). The individual claimant asks the court to appoint them as the representative of the class in pursuing their claim and the members of the class benefit from the claim pursued by the representative plaintiff. In other words, if the representative plaintiff succeeds, the members of the class succeed. A representative plaintiff, and their lawyers, must be certified by the Court as the “representative plaintiff’ and “class counsel.” Once appointed the members of the class receive notice, as approved by the Court, of certification of the class claim.

Who is the proposed representative plaintiff in this case?

The proposed representative plaintiff in this class action is Michael Daryl Isnardy. Mr. Isnardy is a member of the Toosey First Nation Band (Tl’esqox).

Who are the lawyers?

A team of lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP, led by J. Scott Stanley and Peter J. Driscoll, are representing Mr. Isnardy and the proposed Class members. Scott is a partner with the firm and an experienced trial lawyer who has obtained multi-million-dollar awards on behalf of injured claimants. Peter is an experienced class action lawyer. As lead counsel in Manuge v. Her Majesty The Queen and Buote v. Her Majesty The Queen, Peter’s work resulted in over $1Billion dollars in retroactive benefits to disabled former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP.

What can I do in the meantime?

If you are a member of the class, you will ultimately receive notice of the court process and the result of the litigation should it be successful. However, if you believe you or a member of your family (even if deceased) is a Class Member, it is useful for Murphy Battista to hear from you.

You can contact us by submitting the information requested in the Form Tab at the top of this page. The Form requests the following:

  • Your full legal name (include any aliases)
  • Your telephone number(s) (indicating preferred contact number)
  • Who you are submitting the information on behalf of (whether for yourself or on behalf of a family member)
  • Your contact email

The information will be forwarded to J. Scott Stanley and Peter J. Driscoll, the contact lawyers for the proposed class action.

How do I contact Murphy Battista?

For information about this class action you can:

Email [email protected]

or

Call Murphy Battista’s Vancouver office at (604) 683-9621 and ask to speak to a member of the legal team handling the First Nations Drinking Water Class Action. Reception will transfer your call to someone who can help you.

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