Class-action lawsuit filed against York University

Law firm seeks compensation for students, including loss of income and tuition


A Toronto-based law firm has launched a class-action lawsuit against York University on behalf of students seeking reimbursement for damages they say were incurred by a 12-week-strike at the school.

The suit was filed by Juroviesky and Ricci LLP on Jan. 25 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The firm is alleging that York University violated its statutory and common law duties to York students who were left stranded by the prolonged strike.

“Students of York University are entitled to a refund of the students’ tuition and other fees paid to York, and for damages (direct and indirect) for losses suffered by students enrolled in full and part time programs,” said a statement issued by the firm.

In their effort to compile a list of potential plaintiffs, the firm set up the website, which also contains a list of frequently asked questions concerning the lawsuit. It says they are seeking the widest range of damages possible, including loss of income, tuition reimbursement, housing reimbursement for housing and other costs.

Currently, the Facebook group publicizing the suit online has more than 6,500 members.


Class-action lawsuit filed against York University

  1. I thought this would happen. I’m just surprised that they’re not also suing the union for disrupting their year. It’s disgusting that unions, once formed to protect the rights of disadvantaged workers, are now selfishly screwing over thousands of heavily debt-laden students. As a grad student on a very modest TA-ship and lots of debt, I would have been evicted if I had found myself on strike. I’m so glad my school is not unionized!

  2. To meg, you can not sue a union. They have the right to strike. Students made a legal contract to the University upon enrolling and paying their tuition. Im glad this is lawsuit is moving forwards. Students deserve a refund/ compensation for what they have gone through and lost over the strike. Shows how much YorkU really cares for their students- they have to fight for compensation. Its a shame.

  3. Mahmoud, you may not be able to sue a union for going on strike, but I sure bet that you could try and get them for all sorts of emotional distress, lost wages, and other junk. In other words, they may have the right to go on strike, but that doesn’t give them a free pass if someone wants to try and hold them responsible for the consequences of their actions.

  4. Matt, although I totally understand where you are coming from, as I am a York university student myself, but legally, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you cannot sue a union for going on strike because they have the right to do so. It would be kind of like suing someone for going to the doctor too often when they don’t need to, it sucks and it takes away from our Healthcare system, but under the Charter I can go to see my doctor as many times as I feel I need to. Love it or hate it, this is our system and I prefer a charter that protects everyone’s rights (no matter what side I am on) than no charter at all.

  5. Many students don’t seem to understand the nature of their agreement with the university. They pay York to provide them with education (technically only for credits according to VP Gary Brewer). If York decides not to renew the contracts of their teaching staff, they will not be able to provide that education. To solve this problem they make a (legally) separate contract with the teaching staff. When that contract comes up for negotiation, the two sides renegotiate. AT NO TIME IS THERE A DIRECT CONTRACT BETWEEN CUPE AND THE STUDENTS. Would I be able to sue you Matt, for the emotional distress and ‘other junk’ that your post has caused me? Of course not, because then everyone could sue everyone for everything all the time. Students have a legitimate (i.e. legally arguable)case against the university for not living up to their contract (you know, the one both parties entered into freely?).

  6. Xavier, you don’t need a contract with another party in order to sue them. You can sue in tort for negligence or other causes of action.