Final Bre-X lawsuits dismissed by Ontario court

April 25, 2014

Final chapter of the Bre-X Minerals saga that rocked the Canadian stock market in the 1990s after the company’s claims of a massive gold find in the jungles of Borneo, Indonesia turned out to be false was closed on April 23 when a judge in Toronto dismissed the last of investor lawsuits.

The Globe and Mail reported that Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perrell agreed to discontinue two lawsuits that alleged Calgary-based Bre-X and some of the company’s key personnel had engaged in a “stock fraud” that cost investors at least a $1-billion.

In his ruling said the last two class action lawsuits involving the Bre-X Minerals scandal would end because there was no reasonable prospect of recovery.

Three Canadian public sector pension funds reported major losses including: The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board (loss of $45 million), the Quebec Public Sector Pension fund ($70 million), and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan ($100 million).

Plaintiffs’ lawyers will be paid C$850,063 for their work on the class action lawsuits, Perell ruled. At their normal rates they would be owed $2.6 million, the justice determined.

The lawsuits named key players in the drama that captivated the country in the late 1990s, including the now-bankrupt estate of the late David Walsh, the company’s former president who died in the Bahamas in 1998, and former Bre-X geologist John Felderhof and his ex-wife Ingrid. All denied any wrongdoing.


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