A FEW BREAD CRUMBS TO KEEP YOU QUIET?
Reading the fine print on Loblaws gift cards
Consumers who receive a $25 Loblaw Companies Ltd. gift card intended as a goodwill gesture in light of the company’s participation in a bread price-fixing scheme may end up with less money from any future court judgement or settlement.
Loblaw opened registration for the gift cards Monday and revealed a number of restrictions for redemption and eventual use.
Recipients are not prohibited from participating in any classaction lawsuits, according to the registration site, but they will receive $25 less of any possible damages awarded in the future from any class-action judgments or settlements.
Registrants must agree to a release that says they discharge Loblaw (TSX:L), its parent company George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) and others from any kind of relief in connection with their involvement in an alleged bread price-fixing arrangement from Jan. 1, 2002 to March 1,
2015 to the extent of $25.
The release reads that individuals may want to obtain independent legal advice before accepting and agreeing to this.
“They’re trying to limit the ultimate amount that they’re going to have to pay by turning it into this coupon program and also try and turn it around into a opportunity to bring people into their stores,” said Louis Sokolov, a partner at Sotos LLP.
The firm has launched one of several class-action lawsuits against Loblaw and other companies in connection with the bread price-fixing. When the class action is completed, the court will determine how much money Loblaw must pay people, said Sokolov. It will look at Loblaw’s gift-card program and determine whether to give them any credit for it, he said.
Weather U.S. hits record cost for natural disasters top left: Firefighter Ryan Spencer battles a wildfire in La Conchita, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2017. top right: A home along the northeast Florida beaches collapses during Hurricane Irma in September. Rescue boats float on a flooded street as people are evacuated from rising floodwaters brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey on Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. The U.S. had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $215 billion in 2005. Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history hit last year. Hurricane Harvey cost $125 billion, second only to 2005’s Katrina, while Maria cost $90 billion, ranking third, NOAA said. Irma cost $50 billion.