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.
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