Mud Lake, NL Flooding Class Action

Chiasson v. Nalcor Energy et al

Newfoundland & Labrador Supreme Court File: 2017 7673 CP

On July 11, 2019, the Honourable Justice Gillian D. Butler released her decision certifying the lawsuit as a class proceeding. A copy of the decision may be found under the Court Documents tab.

Wagners have filed a proposed class action lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division, on November 23, 2017.

The class proceeding was filed on behalf of the Plaintiff against Nalcor Energy and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and seeks damages caused by rapidly rising water levels in the Churchill River and Mud Lake.

On the morning of May 17, 2017, a sudden rise in water levels led to flooding of properties located within the impacted areas of the Town of Mud Lake and Happy Valley.- Goose Bay. The sudden elevation of the water levels is attributed to the Muskrat Falls Generating Project which is located on the lower Churchill River, approximately 30 km west of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were negligent in the design, engineering, planning, construction, commissioning, ownership, operation, maintenance, management of the generating project. The lawsuit also states that the Defendants failed to act responsibly to ensure that residents living in the affected areas were protected from property damage and other harm.

Updates & Latest Developments

As you are aware, the Defendants filed an application to obtain leave of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal to file an appeal of the decision that certified the proceeding as a class action.

The leave application was heard via teleconference by a panel of judges of the Court of Appeal on June 11, 2020. As is the usual practice, the panel has reserved their decision to consider the issues and arguments made by all parties. There is no timeframe for when the decision may be rendered; however we hope it will be released over the course of the next few months. We will update our website with the decision once it has been received and reviewed. If the Court of Appeal grants leave to the Defendants, dates will be scheduled for the hearing of the appeal most likely in 2021.

The implementation of the Court-approved notice plan advising of the certification of the proceeding as a class action is presently on hold until it is determined whether leave will be granted and, if granted, formal notice will remain on hold pending the outcome of the appeal of certification. If the Court of Appeal denies leave to the Defendants, then the implementation of the notice of certification will be carried out.

We will provide you with a further update as the matter progresses and once the decision regarding the application for leave to appeal has been released by the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions by phoning us or emailing us at [email protected].

Certification was granted on July 11, 2019. A notice plan to inform class members about certification and what it means will be implemented once the certification order has been issued by the court. Trial dates have not yet been set, but the parties are now in the process of preparing for a trial.