TORONTO and MONTREAL, Dec. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, Renno Vathilakis Avocats Inc. and LPC Avocat Inc., the law firms who filed class actions against Loblaw Companies Limited, George Weston Limited, Weston Foods (Canada) Inc., Canada Bread Company, Limited, Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. DE C.V., Empire Company Limited, Sobeys Inc., Metro Inc., Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Giant Tiger Stores Limited in the "bread price fixing conspiracy" are cautioning consumers to understand the rights they are giving up in exchange for Loblaws' offer of a CDN$25 gift card as compensation for its admitted participation in the conspiracy. The class actions, which have yet to be certified and authorized, seek more than $1B in damages and $100M in punitive damages. The class actions were filed on November 1, 2017 in Quebec and November 8, 2017 in Ontario.
After Loblaw Companies CEO Galen Weston's acknowledgement that "this conduct should never have happened" during a conference call with analysts on December 19, 2017, Loblaw announced that it is offering customers a $25 gift card as a "goodwill gesture."
However, David Wingfield, partner at Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, and an expert in competition law is cautioning Canadian consumers to understand what rights they are giving up if they register for the $25 gift card.
"Loblaw has not provided any details of what consumers will be expected to give Loblaw in exchange for this gift card," said Wingfield. "Neither has Loblaw told consumers what it knows about how much bread prices were inflated as a result of its participation in the price-fixing conspiracy. Therefore, Loblaw is leaving consumers in the dark about what the gift card programme is really intended to do."
Loblaw has admitted to participating in an alleged industry wide conspiracy to fix the price of bread, but to date, has not publicly advised what the scheme has cost Canadian consumers, or how they arrived at the $25 compensation figure.
"Loblaw has admitted to being part of an illegal price conspiracy for 14 years. Therefore, consumers in Quebec and across the country may have suffered losses far greater than the value of the gift card Loblaw has offered to give individual consumers who register on Loblaw's website," added Michael Vathilakis, Co-Founding Partner, Renno Vathilakis Avocats Inc.
"Loblaw's offer appears to be more promotional and self-serving as opposed to providing Canadians with a fair compensation, which is what our client is seeking by way of the class action. Canadian consumers should not settle for anything less than what they are lawfully entitled to, which is why Loblaw and the other Defendants must repay all consumers the amounts illegally obtained as a result of their collusion," said Joey Zukran, Attorney at LPC Avocat Inc.
Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, Renno Vathilakis Avocats Inc. and LPC Avocat Inc. are experienced class action law firms based in Ontario and Quebec who are working together in the prosecution of the bread price fixing class actions.
SOURCE Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP
For further information: For media information please contact: For Ontario and the rest of Canada: David R. Wingfield, Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, 416.432.1443; For Quebec: Michael Vathilakis, Renno Vathilakis Avocats Inc., 514.937.1221; Joey Zukran, LPC Avocat Inc., 514.379.1572