News & Publications

Consumer Protection

The (Un?!-)Enforceability of Forum Selection Clauses in Adhesion Consumer Contracts

Written by on June 26, 2017.

Case Commentary: Douez v Facebook, Inc., 2017 SCC 33 Ms. Douez, an ordinary citizen of the Province of British Columbia, brought a proposed class action against the internet giant, Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”), alleging that it improperly used her personal information to advertise companies and products to other members of Facebook and externally without her consent.  She alleged that Facebook’s activities violated British Columbia’s Privacy Act, RSBC 1996, c 373 (“Privacy Act”), wh...

Linda Visser Quoted in Law Times about Umbrella Purchaser Claims

Written by and on June 19, 2017.

Linda Visser was interviewed by the Law Times last month to get her views on the recent Divisional Court decision, Shaw v LG Chem Ltd. Read the full article here.

Update: Government delays private right of action under CASL

Written by on June 12, 2017.

Recently at Siskinds, we’ve written about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation or CASL[1] (see here and here).  In those articles, we described the private right of action contemplated by CASL. Broadly speaking, the private right of action would allow a person affected by a breach of certain sections of CASL to bring an action in court for damages. While the majority of CASL came into force on July 1, 2014, the private right of action was not scheduled to take effect until July 1, 2017.[2]  ...

Bennett v Lenovo – Another Step Toward a Consumer Privacy Protection Jurisprudence

Written by on June 07, 2017.

Introduction The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Bennett v Lenovo, 2017 ONSC 1082 is an important step in the development of privacy class actions in Canada.  In Lenovo, the Court refused to strike the majority of causes of action pleaded by the Plaintiffs, permitting this ground-breaking proceeding to continue. Facts The plaintiff, Daniel Bennett, is a lawyer who lives in St. John’s, N.L. Bennett purchased a Lenovo laptop computer. After taking delivery, ...

Got Spam? What you can do if you are receiving unwanted e-mails.

Written by on May 30, 2017.

(Note: There have been changes to the legislature since this article was published. Please go here for an update.) Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL, came into force in July of 2014. Effectively, sending spam[1] is a violation of the law. You may have received spam if you can answer “no” to any of the following questions: Did you consent to the sender contacting you? Are you easily able to unsubscribe? Did the sender identify themselves and provide you with their con...

Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Compensation for Improper Electronic Activities

Written by on May 09, 2017.

(Note: There have been changes to the legislature since this article was published. Please go here for an update.) The laws of Canada protect consumers and computer users against improper commercial electronic activities. If you are a Canadian consumer who uses a computer or goes on the internet to research and purchase consumer goods or services, as most of us do, you should know your rights. Unwanted electronic communications, unsolicited commercial messages, unauthorized computer progra...

Volkswagen and Audi Settlement Approved

Written by on April 21, 2017.

Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel announced today that both the Québec and Ontario Courts have granted approval of the nationwide settlement agreement to resolve consumer claims in Canada related to the 2.0L diesel emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected vehicles. The Ontario Court will also be subsequently providing additional reasons for granting approval. Charles Wright, a partner at Siskinds LLP and one of the lead counsel for vehicle owners, said, “This settlement resp...

Case Commentary: Bernstein v Peoples Trust Company, 2017 ONSC 752

Written by on April 20, 2017.

A recent decision certifying a class action for prepaid payment cards demonstrates the potential of Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act and the limits of creative technical arguments at the threshold certification stage. Case Background Bernstein v Peoples Trust Company is a class action regarding certain prepaid Visa and Prepaid issued by the Defendants.  The Plaintiff alleges that the terms of the cards, sold in drug and convenience stores, violated certain provisions of the Consumer Protec...

$2.1B Settlement in Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Class Action Announced

Written by on December 20, 2016.

On December 19, 2016, a settlement agreement was announced in the class action involving Volkswagen and consumer claims related to the 2.0L diesel emissions software matter. The matter affected approximately 105,000 vehicles across Canada and generated a high level of interest when the issue was revealed in mid-2015. The settlement is subject to court approval, but is viewed as a significant step forward in securing a resolution of the matter for affected vehicle owners. Siskinds LLP is lead co-...

Ontario Court of Appeal Helps Ensure Conspirators are Held Accountable for their Wrongdoing

Written by on August 22, 2016.

Nearly every Canadian consumer has purchased something that contains a price-fixed component.  Price-fixing occurs in many industries – from components of consumer electronics to chemicals to auto parts to chocolate. Price-fixing occurs where competing companies agree to increase prices, reduce supply or allocate markets or customers. As a result, consumers and businesses are forced to pay artificially inflated prices.  Price-fixing class actions seek to recover the amount that purchasers ov...