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Quebec Superior Court Denies Certification of a Consumer Class Action against UPS - Leblanc c. United Parcel Service Ltée

Fasken
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Mr. Dominic Leblanc moved to issue a Motion for authorization to institute a class action against United Parcel Service du Canada Ltée (UPS) claiming that the brokerage fees charged by UPS for the customs clearance services it performed relating to the international shipment from the United States to Canada of a t-shirt he purchased on eBay were both unsolicited and abusive. The Court dismissed the Motion for Authorization. The court concluded that the motion for authorization did not meet the criteria required under Article 1003 of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure necessary to authorize a class action because the motion did not raise identical or similar or related questions of law or fact; the facts alleged did not justify the conclusions sought and Mr. Leblanc was not in a position to represent the members of the class adequately. The court proceeded to redefine the proposed class because it was vague and overly broad. The court limited the potential Plaintiffs to those who imported goods having a value between $20.01 and $1,599.99 who imported goods from the lower 48 of the continental United States and who were billed and paid fees for customs clearance services to UPS in respect of importation without having ordered such services. The Court then concluded that the governing law is not that of Quebec and that the Consumer Protection Act does not apply. In effect, the Court found that the contracts of carriage would be governed by the laws of the American states in which they were made. In the case of UPS, the Court found that the obligation to inform the Petitioners of the brokerage fees is the responsibility of the vendors not the courier companies since the former has the primary relationship with the consumers and is in the best position to obtain and provide them with all the material information. The Court further concluded that the Petitioners did not offer any evidence whatsoever that the fees charged by UPS were excessive or “abusive”. UPS was represented by senior co-counsel John Campion (Toronto) and Eleni Yiannakis (Montréal) and assisting co-counsels Noah Boudreau (Montréal), Antonio Di Domenico (Toronto) and Robin P. Roddey (Toronto). Read the decision

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