Amazon faces class action lawsuit in Federal Court over anticompetition agreements

Strossberg Sasso Stutts, Affleck Greene Mcmurtry, BLG represented the parties in court

Amazon faces class action lawsuit in Federal Court over anticompetition agreements

A group who purchased products from Amazon commenced a $12 billion class action lawsuit in the Federal Court against the e-commerce website this week. Canadian National Railway was also in court to face an action filed by a Calgary-based merchandiser. Meanwhile, the Federal Court of Appeal heard a suit filed against Rogers Communication Inc.  for alleged discriminatory hiring practices.

Federal Court

Stephanie Difederico instituted a class proceeding against Amazon.com Inc., claiming damages in the amount of $12 billion. They argued that Amazon’s anticompetitive agreements with third-party sellers have limited price competition for products sold on retail e-commerce websites in Canada, and as a result prices in retail e-commerce or Amazon’s platform have increased. The class alleged that third-party sellers on Amazon’s platform are not able to compete by selling products on other e-commerce websites at lower prices than what they on the Amazon platform. Difederico was represented by Strossberg Sasso Stutts LLP and Affleck Greene Mcmurtry LLP. Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) acted for Amazon.com Inc.

Calgary-based merchandiser of agricultural goods Louis Dreyfus Commodities Canada Ltd. (LDC) sued Canadian National Railway (CN) for damages, alleging that the railway neglected and refused to fulfill its service obligations. LDC claimed that it was unable to purchase and resell readily available grain because there were insufficient CN rail cars to ship it to port, in violation of a confidentiality agreement between the parties. DLA Piper (Canada) LLP acted on behalf of LDC, while MLT Aikins LLP represented Canadian National Railway.

Fernandes Hearn LLP represented DHL Global Forwarding in a claim for damages amounting to $1 million against Netherlands-based shipping company Nirint Shipping B.V. DHL claimed that it entered into a contract with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in 2013, where DHL agreed to provide transportation and logistics services to LCBO. DHL subcontracted with Nirint Shipping. In 2019, upon the request of LCBO, DHL arranged for the transportation of 7,800 cases of Cuban rum from Havana to Windsor, Canada. Due to bad weather during the journey, four of the five shipping containers toppled over in the hold of the ship. DHL asserted that Nirint failed in its duty, as a common carrier, to carry the shipment with due care and to take such care of such shipment as would a reasonable and prudent owner.

A group of Canadian diplomats and their families who were posted to Havana, Cuba during a time when diplomatic families there were targeted and injured by some type of sonic or microwave weapon. These mysterious but extremely serious and debilitating attacks resulted in brain injuries, which are now referred to as “Havana Syndrome,” to 14 of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claimed that, despite knowing of the risks of Havana Syndrome early on, Canada continued to put its diplomats and their families in harm’s way by sending them to Havana and requiring them to stay there. For breach of Canada’s contractual, statutory, and common law duties, the plaintiffs claimed damages in the amount of $14 million. Waddell Phillips PC and Howie Sacks and Henry LLP represented the group of diplomats and their families.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP acted for Sandvik Mining and Construction in a patent infringement case against Epiroc Canada, which was represented by Goodmans LLP.

In another patent infringement claim, Smart & Biggar represented The Noco Company Inc. against Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd., which was represented by Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

Lenczner Slaght LLP acted for Gilead Sciences Inc. in an action brought under the Patented Medicines (NOC) Regulations against Apotex Inc., which was represented by Goodmans LLP.

In the area of immigration and refugee law, the law firms in court this week included Lewis and Associates, Waldman and Associates, Green and Spiegel LLP, Korman and Korman LLP, Eastman Law Office, Kaminker and Associates, Edelmann and Company, and Mamann Sandaluk and Kingwell.

Federal Court of Appeal

Self-represented litigant Sajjad Asghar sued Rogers Communication Inc. (RCI), alleging the presence of “ridicule, targeting and bad faith” in three independent hiring incidents conducted by the communications and media company. Asghar further claimed that some of the prohibited human rights grounds such as minority status, disability, and nationality were part of a filled-out RCI survey and such information was available to all recruiters. RCI was represented by Levitt LLP in court.

Tax accounting and consulting firm Zeifmans LLP contested the Minister of National Revenue’s decision to issue a letter requiring the firm to provide additional information and documents regarding Marc Vaturi, Diana Ghermezian and Nader Ghermezian. The matter was brought to the Federal Court of Appeal, where Zeifmans was represented by Marciano Beckenstein LLP.

Aitken Klee LLP appeared in the Federal Court of Appeal to represent Maoz Betser-Zilevitch in a patent infringement claim against Alberta-based corporation PetroChina Canada Ltd. Betser is a professional engineer and is the sole inventor and owner of a patent claim related to a modularized steam-assisted gravity drainage. The trial court ruled that PetroChina did not infringe the claims of Betser’s patent. Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP acted for PetroChina in court.

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