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  1. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?
  2. WHAT IS THIS CLASS ACTION ABOUT?
  3. WHO IS AFFECTED BY THE CLASS ACTION?
  4. WHAT ARE THE DETAILS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT THAT HAS BEEN APPROVED?
  5. HOW WILL THE SETTLEMENT MONIES GET PAID OUT?
  1. WHAT IF THERE ARE SETTLEMENT FUNDS REMAINING AFTER ALL VALID CLAIMS HAVE BEEN PAID?
  2. HOW DO I APPLY TO RECEIVE SETTLEMENT FUNDS?
  3. WHO ARE THE LAWYERS WORKING ON THE CLASS ACTION AND HOW ARE THEY PAID?
  4. WHERE CAN I ASK MORE QUESTIONS?

A class action is a lawsuit filed by one person on behalf of a large group of people.



A class action lawsuit has been commenced against XL Foods Inc. (“XL Foods”) in connection with the fall 2012 recall of beef products processed at the XL Foods facility in Brooks, Alberta. The recall was issued as a result of a possible E. coli contamination.

The class action alleges that XL Foods negligently produced certain beef products processed at the Brooks facility. Specifically, the claim alleges that XL Foods was negligent in the design and implementation of control, sampling and testing procedures and that, upon discovering the possible E. coli contamination, XL Foods was negligent in managing the resulting product recall.

The class action seeks to recover damages for: (a) economic loss for individuals who purchased Recalled XL Beef or beef that cannot be positively identified as not being Recalled XL Beef ("Unidentifiable Beef"); and (b) personal injury for individuals who consumed Recalled XL Beef and experienced illness or injury as a result.

Symptoms associated with E. coli exposure typically appear one to ten days after exposure and include: severe stomach cramps; watery or bloody diarrhea; vomiting; nausea; headache; and little or no fever. Some people can develop more serious consequences, such as kidney failure, seizures and stroke. E. coli exposure can also exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions.


On October 8, 2013, the Alberta court certified the action as a class action. This means that the court has determined that this action can proceed as a class action.

The action was certified on behalf of the following “class” or “class members”:

All natural persons in Canada or in the Unites States who:
  1. purchased Recalled XL Beef (for private, non-commercial consumption) and suffered an economic loss;

  2. purchased Unidentifiable Beef (for private, non-commercial consumption) and suffered an economic loss; or

  3. consumed Recalled XL Beef and suffered a physical illness or injury.


On April 23, 2015, the parties executed a settlement agreement (the “Global Settlement Agreement”) to resolve the litigation in its entirety. The Global Settlement Agreement provides for XL Foods to pay CDN $4 million (the “Settlement Amount”) to resolve claims relating to:

  1. economic loss suffered by class members as a result of having purchased Recalled XL Beef and/or Unidentifiable Beef;

  2. personal injuries suffered by class members as a result of having consumed Recalled XL Beef; and

  3. claims by Canadian provincial health care providers in relation expenses that they incurred in treating personal injuries suffered by class members as a result of having consumed Recalled XL Beef.

In return for the Settlement Amount, XL Foods will receive releases and the class action will be dismissed. The Global Settlement Agreement is a compromise of disputed claims and is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault on the part of XL Foods who has denied, and continues to deny, the allegations made against it.

The Global Settlement Agreement was approved by the Alberta court on September 23, 2015 as being fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of class members.


The Alberta Court approved a protocol for distributing the settlement funds, plus accrued interest, less court-approved legal fees and other expenses. Payments to Quebec class members are subject to deductions payable to the Fonds d’aide aux recours collectifs, calculated in accordance with the governing regulations. A copy of the Distribution Protocol can be viewed on the Case Documents page.

The settlement monies will paid to three categories of claimants:

Category 1: class members who purchased Recalled XL Beef or Unidentifiable Beef and suffered an economic loss (i.e., claims for a refund of the purchase price);

Category 2: class members who consumed Recalled XL Beef and suffered an injury or illness as a result; and

Category 3: Canadian provincial health care providers who incurred expenses treating class members who consumed Recalled XL Beef and suffered an injury or illness as a result.

If there is not sufficient monies to pay all claims in full, all claims will be reduced on a proportional basis (i.e., based on the value of your claim in proportion to the value of all claims).

All Eligible Claimants will be assigned a minimum value of $20. The $20 valuation target is not an estimate of any damages suffered. It is an administrative threshold designed to maintain a feasible economic and administrative platform for the settlement distribution.

Category 1: Economic Loss Claims

You are eligible for settlement benefits for economic losses (i.e., refund claims) if:

  • you reside in Canada or the United States; and

  • (i) you purchased and disposed of Recalled XL Beef or Unidentifiable Beef, and (ii) did not receive a refund of the purchase price; or

  • (i) you purchased Recalled XL Beef; (ii) you or another individual consumed the Recalled XL Beef and experienced illness or injury as a result, and (iii) you did not receive a refund of the purchase price.

Settlement monies payable to class members with economic loss claims will be distributed as follows:

  • Class members with proof of purchase will receive the amount of their purchases.

  • Class members without proof of purchase will receive the amount of their stated purchases, to a maximum of CDN $25.

  • The total economic loss claims without proof of purchase are capped at CDN $500,000. If that cap is exceeded, the claims will be reduced on a proportional basis (i.e., based on the value of your claim in proration to the value of all claims). If the cap is exceeded, but there are settlement funds remaining after all other approved claims are paid in full, the excess settlement funds will be used to increase payments to class members without proof of purchase up to a maximum of CDN $25.

Category 2: Personal Injury Claims

You are eligible for settlement benefits for personal injury if:

  • you reside in Canada or the United States; and

  • you consumed Recalled XL Beef; and

  • you experienced illness or injury as a result.

Settlement monies payable to class members with bodily injuries will be distributed as follows:

  • based on: (i) the level of evidence provided by the Class Member to substantiate the claims; and (ii) the severity of injuries suffered by the Class Member. See Schedule A of the Distribution Protocol for more information.

  • The total personal injury claims without medical records are capped at CDN $500,000. If that cap is exceeded, the claims will be reduced on a proportional basis (i.e., based on the value of your claim in proration to the value of all claims). If the cap is exceeded, but there are settlement funds remaining after all other approved bodily injury and provincial health care claims are paid in full, the excess settlement funds will be used to increase payments to class members without medical records in accordance with Schedule A of the Distribution Protocol.

Category 3: Provincial Health Care Costs

Canadian provincial health care providers are eligible for settlement benefits for their costs in treating class members with approved personal injury claims.

Settlement monies payable to provincial health care providers will be distributed:

  • based on the documented costs incurred by the health care provider in respect of the approved personal injury claim.


If there are remaining settlement funds after all valid claims are paid, the excess will be paid in equal shares to the following organizations:

  • Food Banks Canada: a Canadian charitable organization representing and supporting the food bank community across Canada. Food Banks Canada will use the money to fund its National Food Sharing System program.

  • Feeding America: an American charitable organization representing and supporting the food bank community across the U.S. Feeding America will use the money to fund its National Produce Program.


To be eligible for settlement benefits, class members must file a properly completed claim, together with the required supporting documents, no later than August 17, 2016, subject to further Court order. Claims that are not made within the deadline will not be eligible for compensation.

Claims must be filed using the online claims process. Class Members may be assisted by the lawyers listed below or another lawyer of their own choosing in the completion of their claim, in which case the Class Member will be responsible for any legal expenses arising from those additional individual services.


The following law firms act on behalf of the class:

Siskinds LLP
680 Waterloo Street
London, ON N6A 3V8
Toll Free: 1-800-461-6166 ext. 2278
Email: xlfoodsclassaction@siskinds.com

James H Brown and Associates
2400 Sunlife Place
10123 99 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3H1
Toll Free: 1-800-616-0088
Email: rmallett@jameshbrown.com

D'Arcy & Deacon LLP
310 - 525 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0C9
Toll Free: 1-403-245-0111
Email: cdocken@darcydeacon.com

You do not need to pay out-of-pocket for the lawyers working on the class action. The lawyers will be paid from the settlement funds.

The Alberta Court has approved payment to Class Counsel of legal fees of CDN $1,285,000.00, plus disbursements of CDN $96,291.28 and applicable taxes. A legal fee of CDN $1,285,000.00 represents approximately 33% of the settlement amount after deducting disbursements and applicable taxes.


If you have questions that are not answered online, please email info@cacservicesgroup.com or call toll-free 1-800-951-3201