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On March 25, 2020, Siskinds Desmeules, the Quebec firm affiliated to Siskinds, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against some of the biggest farmed Atlantic salmon producers in the world, namely Grieg Seafood ASA, Lerøy Seafood Group ASA, Mowi ASA, Ocean Quality AS, Salmar ASA, Scottish Sea Farms Ltd and their North American subsidiaries (“the Defendants”).

Siskinds LLP has joined a federal court class action against the same Defendants, in addition to Alasker AS, Bremnes Seashore AS, Cermaq Group AS, Nordlaks Holding AS, Nova Sea AS and their North American subsidiaries. The Federal Court class action is on behalf of all Canadian residents.

The actions allege that the Defendants unlawfully conspired to fix, increase, and/or maintain the price of farmed Atlantic salmon and its derived products sold in North America.

The federal court action was certified for settlement purposes as against persons in Canada who purchased farmed Atlantic salmon and/or its derived products in Canada between April 10, 2013 and October 6, 2023. The class excludes the Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates.

Only class members who purchased more than CAD $1 million of salmon in Canada between April 10, 2013 and February 20, 2019 are eligible to submit a claim. A charitable donation of $250,000 will be made to Food Banks Canada in lieu of payments to consumers.   

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Developments

Federal Court

Settlement

A settlement has been reached with the following defendants totalling CDN$5.25 million:

  • Cermaq Canada Ltd., Cermaq Group AS, Cermaq Norway AS, and Cermaq US LLC;
  • Grieg Seafood ASA, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., Grieg Seafood Sales North America Incorporated (formerly known as Ocean Quality North America Inc.), Grieg Seafood Sales Premium Brands, Inc. (formerly known as Ocean Quality Premium Brands Inc.), and Grieg Seafood Sales USA Inc. (formerly known as Ocean Quality USA Inc.);
  • Lerøy Seafood AS, and Lerøy Seafood USA Inc.;
  • Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada Inc., Mowi ASA, Mowi Canada West Inc., Mowi Ducktrap, LLC, and Mowi USA, LLC;
  • Nova Sea AS;
  • SalMar ASA; and
  • Sjór AS (formerly known as Ocean Quality AS).

The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court. The application for approval of the settlement will be heard in the Federal Court on November 30, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

Only class members who purchased more than CAD $1 million of salmon in Canada between April 10, 2013 and February 20, 2019 are eligible to submit a claim. A charitable donation of $250,000 will be made to Food Banks Canada in lieu of payments to consumers.

Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out of (exclude themselves from) the class action. Please review the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing for more information. [English] [French]

At the approval hearing, the Federal Court will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.  Please review the Proposed Distribution Protocol for more information. [English] [French]

If approved, the settlement will resolve the litigation in its entirety.

Discontinuances

The action was discontinued as against the following defendants:

  • Scottish Sea Farms Ltd by Order dated November 2, 2021
  • Alsaker AS, Alsaker Fjordbruk AS, and Bremnes Seashore AS by Order dated April 6, 2022
  • Nordlaks Holding AS and Nordlaks Oppdrett AS by Order dated November 24, 2022

Quebec Action

On November 30, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec issued a judgment discontinuing the motion against Scottish Sea Farms Ltd. A copy of the judgment authorizing the discontinuance is available here (French only). Copy of the notice of discontinuance is available here (French only).

On December 1, 2021, the Quebec action was stayed by the Superior Court of Quebec to give precedence to the Federal court class action. You can view a copy of the order by clicking here (French only).

Pursuant to the settlement reached in the Federal Court class action, the Quebec plaintiffs will move to discontinue the Quebec Action.

FAQs

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Salmon class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “member” of the class if you are a person in Canada who purchased farmed Atlantic salmon or products containing or derived from farmed Atlantic salmon purchased or sold in Canada from April 10, 2013 to October 6, 2023.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes.  If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you can exclude yourself from the class action by completing and returning a written request to opt-out. The deadline for opting out of the class action is November 30, 2023. Further information is provided in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing which can be found here.[English] [French]

If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in the Settlement, but you may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any purchases of farmed Atlantic salmon or its derived products since April 10, 2013.
  2. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

All personal information provided to Siskinds will be kept private and confidential.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in touch form below.

For information in French or to contact our Quebec office, Siskinds, Desmeules, call us at 418-694-2009 or at the toll-free number 1-877-735-3845 or email us at [email protected].

Documents

Federal Court Class action

Settlement

Discontinuances

Quebec Class action

Federal Court

Settlement

A settlement has been reached with the following defendants totalling CDN$5.25 million:

  • Cermaq Canada Ltd., Cermaq Group AS, Cermaq Norway AS, and Cermaq US LLC;
  • Grieg Seafood ASA, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., Grieg Seafood Sales North America Incorporated (formerly known as Ocean Quality North America Inc.), Grieg Seafood Sales Premium Brands, Inc. (formerly known as Ocean Quality Premium Brands Inc.), and Grieg Seafood Sales USA Inc. (formerly known as Ocean Quality USA Inc.);
  • Lerøy Seafood AS, and Lerøy Seafood USA Inc.;
  • Marine Harvest Atlantic Canada Inc., Mowi ASA, Mowi Canada West Inc., Mowi Ducktrap, LLC, and Mowi USA, LLC;
  • Nova Sea AS;
  • SalMar ASA; and
  • Sjór AS (formerly known as Ocean Quality AS).

The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court. The application for approval of the settlement will be heard in the Federal Court on November 30, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

Only class members who purchased more than CAD $1 million of salmon in Canada between April 10, 2013 and February 20, 2019 are eligible to submit a claim. A charitable donation of $250,000 will be made to Food Banks Canada in lieu of payments to consumers.

Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out of (exclude themselves from) the class action. Please review the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing for more information. [English] [French]

At the approval hearing, the Federal Court will be asked to approve a method of distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members.  Please review the Proposed Distribution Protocol for more information. [English] [French]

If approved, the settlement will resolve the litigation in its entirety.

Discontinuances

The action was discontinued as against the following defendants:

  • Scottish Sea Farms Ltd by Order dated November 2, 2021
  • Alsaker AS, Alsaker Fjordbruk AS, and Bremnes Seashore AS by Order dated April 6, 2022
  • Nordlaks Holding AS and Nordlaks Oppdrett AS by Order dated November 24, 2022

Quebec Action

On November 30, 2021, the Superior Court of Quebec issued a judgment discontinuing the motion against Scottish Sea Farms Ltd. A copy of the judgment authorizing the discontinuance is available here (French only). Copy of the notice of discontinuance is available here (French only).

On December 1, 2021, the Quebec action was stayed by the Superior Court of Quebec to give precedence to the Federal court class action. You can view a copy of the order by clicking here (French only).

Pursuant to the settlement reached in the Federal Court class action, the Quebec plaintiffs will move to discontinue the Quebec Action.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Salmon class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “member” of the class if you are a person in Canada who purchased farmed Atlantic salmon or products containing or derived from farmed Atlantic salmon purchased or sold in Canada from April 10, 2013 to October 6, 2023.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes.  If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you can exclude yourself from the class action by completing and returning a written request to opt-out. The deadline for opting out of the class action is November 30, 2023. Further information is provided in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing which can be found here.[English] [French]

If you opt-out, you will not be able to participate in the Settlement, but you may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt-out of a class action if you intend to bring individual litigation. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  1. Keep records of any purchases of farmed Atlantic salmon or its derived products since April 10, 2013.
  2. Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

All personal information provided to Siskinds will be kept private and confidential.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in touch form below.

For information in French or to contact our Quebec office, Siskinds, Desmeules, call us at 418-694-2009 or at the toll-free number 1-877-735-3845 or email us at [email protected].

Federal Court Class action

Settlement

Discontinuances

Quebec Class action

Contact Us

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Your information will be held in strict confidence. Completing this form does not create a lawyer-client relationship with Siskinds LLP or Siskinds Desmeules s.e.n.c.r.l. or any of their personnel, nor does it impose any obligations related to the class action or otherwise.

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