MEDIA ALERT - Cassels Brock Successful in Having Court of Appeal Dismiss $100 Million Class Action Against its Client, Pet Valu

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Cassels Brock is pleased to have successfully defended a $100 million dollar franchisee-led class action against its client, Pet Valu Canada Inc., thus ending the six-year long dispute.

"This decision is of importance to franchisors and to those who follow the manner in which class actions are prosecuted and defended in Canada," said Geoff Shaw, Partner, Cassels Brock.

In allowing Pet Valu's appeal and dismissing a cross-appeal by the plaintiff, the Court of Appeal confirmed that Pet Valu's franchisees bought products from Pet Valu that were on average "15% lower than outside distributor's prices."

In dismissing the action, the Ontario Court of Appeal has "put a leash on the scope of the duty of good faith and disclosure by a franchisor on matters beyond the performance and enforcement of the franchise agreement," said Shaw.

The court also commented on the role of a class action judge in this type of proceeding, noting that a judge must be careful not to "descend into the arena and make a suggestion at the conclusion of an otherwise dispositive hearing as to how a plaintiff might improve its position."

The Cassels Brock team was lead by Geoff Shaw with support from Derek Ronde and Eric Mayzel. Mr. Shaw is available for comment on this case and its impact on franchising and class actions. A copy of the decision can be found here.

About Cassels Brock
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, with more than 200 lawyers based in Toronto and Vancouver, is a leading Canadian law firm focused on serving the advocacy, transaction and advisory needs of the country's most dynamic business sectors.

About Our Litigation Group
Organizations faced with bet the system type claims being made against them need competent experienced litigation counsel to resolve these disputes – Cassels Brock has recognized expertise in resolving complex legal problems quickly and cost effectively. We pride ourselves on developing inventive solutions to unique challenges.

SOURCE Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Image with caption: "Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (CNW Group/Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP)". Image available at:

For further information: Geoff Shaw, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Partner, or 416 869 5982 or Joy O'Hara, Communications Specialist, or 416 642 7454.


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