Seidel v. Telus
Class actions in British Columbia and Alberta against Telus alleging that it breached its standard form cellular telephone contract by charging the recipient of a call for connection (call set-up) time before the call is answered (it is alleged that Telus agreed to charge for “talking time” only). Recent standard form contracts such as the Telus agreement contain a clause requiring that the consumer not participate in class actions and have any dispute dealt with in a private arbitration. Lemer and Company appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that such an agreement cannot stop an action pursuant to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
The certification decision was released by the B.C. Supreme Court in January, 2016 It allows the action to proceed as a class – as opposed to an individual – action and is an important milestone in this action.
Leonard and Ranniger v. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, Manulife Financial Corporation, Benesure Canada Inc., Davis and Henderson Limited Partnership, and others
Class actions in British Columbia and Ontario alleging that a large mortgage life and disability insurance business (covering debt payments in the event of death or disability) was subcontracted to an unlicensed company that did not comply with government regulation, had inadequately trained representatives, charged the insureds too much for coverage offered and provided inadequate client service. Also, it is alleged the defendants shared confidential information for marketing purposes in breach of their clients’ privacy rights. The certification hearing has been completed and the decision is awaited.
Sandhu and Simmons v. HSBC Finance Mortgages Inc. and Household Trust Company
Class action in British Columbia alleging the defendants hid the cost of legal fees and disbursements that were charged to mortgagors while representing that they were being provided for free. The action was certified and the defendants have appealed. The appeal has been heard and we are awaiting a decision.
Schoep v. Berkshire Funding Initiatives Limited, Talisker Funding Limited, Thorsteinssons LLP, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and others
Class actions in British Columbia and Ontario in conjunction with two Ontario firms alleging the promoters of a leveraged charitable donation tax deduction scheme engaged in misrepresentation and marketed a plan that was doomed to fail. It is also alleged that the defendant law firms provided inadequate opinion letters and allowed the promoters to use the law firms’ names in promotional material, which gave the class members a false sense of security and enabled the promotion to proceed. Commenced in 2015.
McPherson and Gard v. Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche
Action commenced in November 2015 for British Columbians arising from VW and subsidiary companies installing software in diesel engines that allowed them to pass government emissions tests under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act but then turned emission controls off in real driving conditions, resulting in high and illegal levels of harmful emissions and causing loss of value of the vehicles and other financial losses to their purchasers.
If you think you may be a member of one of our class actions or if you may need a class action commenced please contact us. Please note that by contacting us we are not establishing a solicitor-client relationship and Lemer and Company will provide information on developments in the class action at their discretion. A written agreement is necessary before a solicitor-client relationship is established.