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Industry NewsPrice-fixing: Gift card compensation disputed

Price-fixing: Gift card compensation disputed


It’s too early to determine whether the value of the $25 gift card Loblaw Companies is offering consumers can be deducted from what they may be paid as the result of class-action lawsuits against the company over its participation in a bread price-fixing scheme.

As reported in the Toronto Star, that’s the decision of Ontario Superior Court of Justice Edward M. Morgan, who recently dismissed a motion that challenged the gift card plan.

In making his ruling, Morgan said he wasn’t in a position to know what an eventual settlement would be, if there is one. Accordingly, he decided that it’s too soon to determine whether the company’s stipulation that those registering for the cards discharge it and its parent George Weston from relief to the tune of $25 is enforceable.

The Star reports that both sides in the dispute saw the ruling as positive. Loblaw spokesman Kevin Groh said it “puts to rest the nonsensical claim by class-action lawyers that our $25 Loblaw Card is misleading and confusing.”

The law firm that brought the motion, Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, said the ruling is a victory for consumers because Loblaw won’t be able to deduct the $25 from any future payout “unless it demonstrates that it is fair to consumers as part of an overall resolution of their price-fixing claims.”

Read the full story here.

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