02/14/2014 08:53 EST | Updated 04/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Elliot Lake roof collapse class action lawsuit OK'd by judge

A judge has approved a class action lawsuit brought by those who suffered losses in the Algo Centre Mall collapse in 2012.

About 300 hundred people and businesses are seeking damages. There are 13 defendants, including the Province of Ontario, the City of Elliot Lake and the former and current mall owners.

Roland Aube of Elliot Lake is one of three lawyers representing the plaintiffs — many of whom he's known for a long time.

Aube said a class action is the most efficient way to handle everyone's claims.

“Two people died … other people have various different things. [Some] lost their jobs, lost their businesses,” he said.

“If everyone had to retain their own lawyer to prosecute this action, it would be a horrendous cost and class actions are meant to alleviate that.”

In his remarks, Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba said this is precisely the kind of case for which class action is designed.

“The plaintiffs are very, very happy with Justice Belobaba,” Aube said. “As we say in the vernacular, ‘he gets it.’ He is well aware of the importance of this claim.”

Elaine and Jack Quinte launched the lawsuit. The pair lost their restaurant in the mall when the roof collapsed.

Two women were killed when the roof came down, and dozens of others were injured.