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: settlement reached subject to approval of courts in British Columbia and Ontario

This is a class action 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 by Manulife to an unlicensed company, Benesure, 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 through a computer system operated by Davis and Henderson for marketing purposes in breach of their clients’ privacy rights. The parties have reached a settlement subject to approval of courts in British Columbia and Ontario. The proposed settlement is for $4,250,000 plus taxes on class counsel fees and plaintiffs’ counsel disbursements. The net proceeds after payment of class counsel fees will be given to non-profit organizations that would further financial education, financial consumer causes and related charitable purposes in Canada. o class members.The British Columbia Supreme Court heard an  an application for consent certification of this action and approval of the settlement and class counsel fees on February 15, 2019. A copy of the B.C. Supreme Court Order appending the settlement agreement that sets out the full terms of the settlement, setting down the hearing and approving the method of notice of the hearing to the class members can be viewed by clicking here.   In this hearing the Court determined that it did not have  jurisdiction to consider the certification and approval application. As a result the parties are proceeding to the British Columbia Court of Appeal so that this issue can be determined and the  proposed settlement considered on its merits. A hearing in Ontario Superior Court for certification of the Ontario class action and approval of the settlement was scheduled for May 16, 2019 but has been adjourned pending the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision and subsequent steps to be taken in British Columbia.  If you have any questions or wish to make submissions at the hearing please contact Bruce Lemer.

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