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Class actions

Class actions Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Retailer ordered to pay $1 million in punitive damages in class action

Canada’s largest discount furniture and appliance retailer was ordered to pay $2.36 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, to thousands of consumers after Quebec Superior Court found that it engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing with its popular “buy now, pay later” promotions.

The ruling, one of a handful of Quebec class actions that was decided on its merits, represents a convincing victory for consumer’s rights and serves as a cautionary tale for business that rely on false and misleading advertising pitches to lure customers, according to legal experts.…

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Class actions

Two separate class action suits launched against German carmakers alleging collusion

Days after the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that for two decades more than 200 managers and engineers of three large German automakers met in 60 different task forces to secretly coordinate the “development of cars, costs, suppliers, and markets,” back-to-back class action lawsuits were launched in Quebec and Ontario.

In a suit filed this week before Quebec Superior Court Montreal class representative Nick Bountounis alleges that the carmaker’s alleged anticompetitive and illegal price-fixing led to artificially inflated prices for the vehicles.

In Ontario a $1.1 billion class action suit was filed this week on behalf of all Canadians, excluding Quebec residents, who purchased or leased vehicles from the German car manufacturers beginning in the mid-1990s until present.

In the meantime, European Union antitrust regulators are apparently investigating allegations of a cartel among a group of German carmakers.…

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Class actions Quebec Spotlight

Bell Canada facing yet another class action

Barely a week after Bell Canada’s wireless provider was compelled to pay $1.6 million to some 76,000 clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear its appeal, the telecommunication giant now faces another potentially costly legal battle after Quebec Superior Court authorized a class action over fee increases on internet, mobile, telephone, television services.

Joseph Frainetti, the class action’s representative plaintiff, alleges that Bell made unilateral changes to contracts without providing clear notifications beginning in April 2012. Frainetti maintains Bell infringed article 11.2 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act by unilaterally increasing service charges and advising him of the changes in his monthly bill while his contract was in effect. Frainetti argues that under article 11.2 written notification of all fee increases during a contract must be provided at least 30 days before the changes go into effect.…

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Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Telecom giants must pay millions following SCC’s refusal to hear appeals

Telecommunication giants Bell Mobility and Rogers Communications must pay millions of dollars to clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear their appeals.

More than 166,000 Rogers’ clients who were charged early cancellation fees between 2007 and 2010 stand to share $26.7 million while 76,000 Bell Mobility clients are expected to divvy up $1.6 million – minus legal fees.

In a case dealing with contract for services, early cancellation fee clauses, abusive clauses and the right of unilateral resiliation under the Quebec Civil Code, the Quebec Court of Appeal held in two separate decisions that the two telecom companies overcharged clients who were billed early cancellation fees.…

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Class actions Crime Quebec Quebec Superior Court

Court approves $2.5 million class action settlement agreement involving hockey coach

A $2.5 million class action settlement agreement reached between the victims of a former hockey coach and his employer, the City of Westmount, was approved by a Superior Court judge.

John Garland, a former Superintendent of the Westmount’s Parks and Recreation Department between 1953 and 1987, is believed to have sexually abused children and teenagers in his care.…

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Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Quebec telecom company ordered to pay more than $3 million in punitive damages

A Quebec telecommunications firm, Vidéotron Inc., has been ordered to pay more than $3 million in punitive damages to consumers who were charged extra when the Internet service provider unilaterally modified the terms of their so-called “Extreme High Speed” service, held the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In a decision that examines the scope of contractual obligations, the appeal court held that a unilateral modification clause contained in the contract did not authorize Vidéotron to impose fees that “had not been agreed to in the initial contract or to modify goods and services described” in the contract. The unilateral clause in this case would have meant that consumers waived their rights conferred by sections 12 and 40 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act (Act) – and that is prohibited by sections 261 and 262 of the Act.…

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Business Class actions Intellectual property Privacy

Monetizing data, without consent

You can still download the application if you want. But if you believe what Kyle Zak has to say about it, it’s not something you would do. Not unless you don’t mind the trade-off between ease-of-use and the reams of information you will allegedly provide to the popular audio maker Bose Corp.

The lawsuit filed by Zak against Bose is the latest to allege companies of surreptitiously tracking consumers, without their consent, to collect data and then to either solicit more business or sell it to third parties.

Early this year Ottawa-based sex toy maker We-Vibe settled a privacy lawsuit for $5 million after a line of its vibrators were found to have secretly collected and transmitted “highly sensitive information” about consumers without their knowledge or consent.…

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Class actions Legal business

Court certifies class action regarding misclassification of lawyers as independent contractors

In a decision that underlines the changing employment landscape, a class action against Deloitte LLP involving document reviewers has been certified by an Ontario court.

But in an unsual twist the class action has been adjourned for 60 days until class counsel can find an adequate representative plaintiff and obtain court approval of amendments to the proposed class definition.

The class action alleges that document reviewers working for Deloitte were misclassified as independent contractors and should have been employees. The claim seeks compensation for unpaid vacation, unpaid statutory holiday pay and unpaid overtime.…

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Class actions Quebec

Class action against Bell certified

Joey Zukran is a busy man. The Montreal lawyer who spearheaded a class action over photo radar tickets following a series of decisions that have put thousands of tickets in jeopardy after the courts called into question the rules around the province’s use of the automated speed and red-light enforcement technology is at again.

This time, he has Bell Canada in his sights. Zukran has launched a class action on behalf of Montreal resident Shay Abicidan that alleges that the largest telecommunications firm in the country is misleading customers that its high-speed internet service delivers a fibre optic network to homes.…

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Class actions Court of Quebec Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Photo radar under the gun in Quebec

Photo radar tickets are under the gun in Quebec, following a series of decisions that have put thousands of tickets in jeopardy after the courts called into question the rules around the province’s use of the automated speed and red-light enforcement technology.

The fallout from the precedent-setting decision that held that evidence from the current photo system is “inadmissible” and “illegal” is already beginning to be felt at a time when Quebec is increasing the number of photo radar sites.…

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