Chocolate Class Action
UPDATE - NOVEMBER 22, 2012
The Plaintiffs have entered into additional settlement agreements with Mars, Incorporated and Mars Canada Inc. (formerly known as Effem Inc.)(“Mars”) and Nestlé S.A. and Nestlé Canada Inc. (“Nestlé”) for the resolution of the remaining claims as against them. Those proposed settlements are also subject to approval by the Courts. Mars and Nestlé have not admitted liability, but have agreed to pay $3.2 million and $9 million respectively in exchange for a full and final release of the alleged claims against them.
Copies of the short and long form notices which provide additional information about the proposed settlements may be reviewed here:
The settlement agreements can be found here:
The joint hearings to consider whether the additional proposed settlements will be approved will be heard in British Columbia (Vancouver Law Court), Ontario and Quebec on January 10, 2013 at 10 am PST and 1:00 pm EST. Additional information is found in the long form notices set out above.
The settlements, if approved, will fully resolve the litigation.
As the opt out period has passed in conjunction with the earlier settlements, and no one has asked to be excluded from the proceedings, all persons who purchased Mars, Nestle, Cadbury or Hershey chocolate confectionary products in Canada between February 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008 will be considered a “Settlement Class Member” and will be bound by the provisions of the settlement agreements (if approved). Any Settlement Class Member who wishes to comment on or object to these additional proposed settlements must send a written submission to Class Counsel by December 28, 2012. Additional information is found in the long form notices set out above. Please note that the Courts can either approve or reject the settlements as they are, and that modifications can only be made by agreement as between the parties.
If the proposed settlements are approved, Purchasers of Chocolate Products manufactured or distributed by the defendants in Canada in the period October 2005 to September 2007 may be eligible to claim direct compensation under these settlements. The proposed distribution protocol may be viewed here. The French version of the proposed distribution protocol may be viewed here. Class Members should retain any records of Chocolate Product purchases in their possession for use in the future claims process.
A copy of the entered Ontario Order approving the distribution protocol may be viewed here.
Class members should periodically monitor this website for up-dated information on these additional proposed settlements and on the proposed claims process.
If you would like to speak to someone about this lawsuit, please contact Luciana P. Brasil at (604) 654-2960.
Update – April 27, 2012
The Plaintiff has entered into a further settlement agreement with Hershey Canada and others for the resolution of the claims again the Hershey Defendants and others. This proposed settlement is subject to approval of the courts in BC, Ontario and Quebec. The settlement approval hearings will take place on May 28, 2012. For more information, please read the notices below:
Update - August 24, 2011
The Settlement Approval Notice in this action is now available for download in PDF format.
Update - July 30, 2011
On July 9, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the non-settling defendants' applications for leave to appeal the decisions of the BC and Ontario Courts of Appeal, with costs.
Update - June 11, 2011
The Supreme Court of Canada is considering the non-settling defendants' application for leave to appeal. We hope to know whether the Court will hear the appeal by the end of July.
Update - February 28, 2011
The Appeal Courts in British Columbia and in Ontario have both dismissed the appeals brought by the non-settling defendants in relation to the approval of the Settlement. The non-settling defendants are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Update - October 29, 2010
The Courts in BC, Ontario and Quebec have approved the Settlement.
The defendants have appealed the BC and Ontario decisions approving the Settlement and accordingly, we will have to await the outcome of these appeals before any further steps can be taken.
The hearing of the Ontario appeal is scheduled to take place on December 7, 2010. The hearing of the BC appeal is scheduled to take place on January 17 and 18, 2011.
Settlements have been reached with two sets of Defendants: Cadbury Adams Canada Inc. and Cadbury Holdings Limited (formerly known as Cadbury Schweppes PLC), and ITWAL Limited. The settlements are subject to court approval in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. The Ontario approval hearing is April 21, 2010. The British Columbia approval hearing will be on May 25, 2010. The Quebec approval hearing will be on June 8, 2010. Copies of the settlement agreements, and of the long form and short form notices with more information can be found by clicking below:
- Cadbury Settlement Agreement
- ITWAL Settlement Agreement
- Long Form Notice - English
- Long Form Notice - French
This class action alleges that the Defendants unlawfully conspired to raise, maintain, fix, and/or stabilize prices at which Chocolate Products were sold in Canada. The term "Chocolate Products" refers to any and all chocolate confectionary products of the Defendants.
The plaintiff alleges that from at least February 1, 2001 to November 28, 2007, the Defendants and their senior executives participated in illegal and secretive meetings and made agreements relating to price targets, specific price increases, market share divisions and production capacity for Chocolate Products.
The British Columbia action is being brought by Jacob Stuart Main. A copy of the Amended Statement of Claim filed in British Columbia can be found by clicking here.
The first step in this proposed class action will be for the Court to consider whether it should be certified as a class action pursuant to the Class Proceedings Act. A date for this hearing has not yet been set.
Actions have also been commenced on behalf of residents of other provinces by our co-counsel or local agents in Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick. Copies of these various actions can be found below:
- Newfoundland & Labrador Statement of Claim
- Ontario Statement of Claim
- Quebec Motion for Authorization to Institute a Class Action
- Saskatchewan Statement of Claim
- Nova Scotia Statement of Claim
- Alberta Statement of Claim
- Manitoba Statement of Claim
- New Brunswick Notice of Action with Statement of Claim
We are compiling a database of potential class members and encourage you to let us know if you think you are a member of the proposed class. You can reach us by mail, fax, email or telephone at the following address:
Barristers & Solicitors
Suite 1410 - 777 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4
Attention: Ulla Herlev