Info class action

Case settled

The Brick

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION

AUTHORIZED BY THE COURT

 

 

You financed a purchase at The Brick?

You may be entitled to receive some money.

 

  • A new agreement has been concluded between The Brick and Option consommateurs terminating a class action with respect to the annual fees charged to certain consumers who concluded a “Buy now, Pay later” financing plan.
  • A first distribution of more than 1.9 million dollars has already been made. At the time of the distribution, it was discovered that The Brick had omitted certain class members. A new agreement has been concluded in order to allow these class members the benefits provided for in the agreement.
  • The Brick will pay a sum of 270,000 dollars which will be distributed if the Court approves the agreement.
  • Your legal rights are affected whether you act or don’t act. Read this notice carefully.

 

Your legal rights under this agreement:

OPT OUT

If you opt out, you will not obtain any payment under this agreement. This option will permit you to sue The Brick yourself for the annual fees charged for its financing programs.

OBJECT

You may tell the Court that you do not agree with the agreement.

GO TO A HEARING

You may attend the hearing held to approve the agreement.

GETTING a payment

If you subscribed to the financing plans before May 1st, 2009, there is nothing for you to do. You will be refunded directly by The Brick.

If you subscribed to the financing plans between May 1st, 2009 and April 30, 2010, you must complete the claim form which The Brick will send you. If you do nothing, you will get no payment. You will give up your rights.

 

  • These rights – and the deadline to exercise them— are explained in this notice.

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether it should approve the agreement on September 2nd,  2016.

BASIC INFORMATION

1. Why was this notice sent to you?

An agreement has been reached in the class action instituted by Option consommateurs against The Brick. This agreement may concern you. You have legal rights to consider before the court decides whether approve the agreement. This notice explains the lawsuit, who is a class member, the agreement itself and your rights.

2. What is this lawsuit about ?

Option consommateurs instituted a class action against The Brick regarding the annual fees charged under its “Buy now, Pay later” financing plans. Option consommateurs believes that The Brick made false representations in promoting its financing programs. The organization blames The Brick for having used slogans, such as “You pay absolutely nothing! Not even taxes! For X months!”, “Plus! Pay nothing before X months!”, whereas in fact, the purchaser who took advantage of this financing program was obliged to pay annual fees.

3. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

In a class action, a person called the “class representative” institutes a class action on behalf of all those who have the same problem and who are called the “class”. Option consommateurs represents all the class members. A class action permits the Court to resolve a question in dispute for all members of the class, except those who choose to exclude themselves from the class.

4. Why is there an agreement?

The Court did not decide in favor of Option consommateurs or The Brick. There was no trial. Instead, both sides concluded an agreement. Option consommateurs and its lawyers, the law firm of Belleau Lapointe, believe that the agreement is the best solution for the class; so, they are asking the Court to approve it.

CLASS MEMBERSHIP

5. Who is a member of the class?

You are a class member if before May 1st, 2010:

  • You purchased a good or a service from The Brick in Quebec and subscribed to a “Buy now; Pay later” financing plans

and

  • You paid annual fees.

6. May I intervene in the class action proceeding?

Yes. If you are a member of this class action and you ask to do so, the Court can allow you to intervene in the legal proceedings if your intervention is deemed useful to the group. An intervention is deemed useful if, for instance, it aims to support Option consommateurs’s request or its allegations. If you intervene, you may have to submit to an examination by the sued parties and you may incur legal fees.

WHAT THE AGREEMENT GRANTS YOU

7. What does the agreement provide?

The Brick will pay the sum of 270,000 dollars, which will be distributed if the Court approves the agreement. This sum will also be used in part to pay the lawyers representing the class. In return, the class members give up their right to sue The Brick.

The agreement provides for two categories of members:

(a)      Members who had their purchase financed before May 1st, 2009;

(b)      Members who had their purchase financed between May 1st, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

This distinction has to do with the way in which consumers were informed about the annual fees charged as of May 1st, 2009.

8. What must you do?

That depends upon the date on which you subscribed to the financing programs.

Before May 1st, 2009

  • You have nothing to do. The Brick will refund you directly all the annual fees charged during the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Please note: You will not receive your refund if the annual fees were already credited or refunded to you. If you had a new purchase financed by The Brick since May 1, 2009, you will not be entitled to any refund of the annual fees charged for the year of the new purchase and for subsequent years.

If the agreement is approved by the Court, you will receive by mail a letter and a cheque refunding the annual fees paid. You will receive this mailing no later than on July 18th, 2016.

Between May 1st, 2009 and April 30, 2010

  • You must complete the claim form which The Brick will send you or complete the form which will be provided on the Option consommateurs’ website.

The Brick agrees to pay a sum not exceeding $82,425.84 for members who had their purchases financed between May 1st, 2009 and April 30, 2010 inclusively.

Please note: You must submit a claim form to Option consommateurs in which you swear that you were unaware that annual fees would be charged to you when you took advantage of the financing plans. On this form, you must also swear that these fees have not been refunded or credited to you. You will not receive your reimbursement if you have already been credited with or reimbursed for the annual fees.

If the Court approves the agreement, you will receive a letter containing further information about the claims process, together with a claim form. You will receive this mailing no later than July 18th, 2016.

If Option consommateurs is appointed claims manager, it may receive the sum of $12,520.93 for that work. The compensation paid to each member of the group will depend upon the number of persons who file valid claim forms.

OPTING OUT

If, for any reason, you do not wish to be involved in the class action, you must take steps to exclude yourself from the class. This could be the case if you think that you could obtain more money by suing The Brick yourself.

9. What happens if I opt out?

If you opt out:

  1. You will not receive any payment;
  2. You will not be bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit;
  3. You will keep any right you have to sue The Brick on your own; and
  4. You may not object to the agreement.

10. What happens if I do NOT opt out?

If you do not opt out:

  1. You will be entitled to your payment or to submit a claim form in order to receive a payment;
  2. You may object to the agreement;
  3. You will bound by all the court orders in this lawsuit; and
  4. If the settlement is approved, you will give up the right to sue The Brick for annual fees.

11. How do I opt out of the Class?

You must send a letter to the Clerk of the Court. This letter must include the following information:

  • The file number of the class action: 500-06-000485-090;
  • Your full name, address and telephone number;
  • Your statement: “I am a member of the class and I wish to opt out from the class action”; and
  • Your signature

Your letter must be sent by registered or certified mail before August 26th, 2016 to the following address:

Clerk of the Superior Court of Quebec

PALAIS DE JUSTICE DE MONTRÉAL

Docket No. 500-06-000485-090

1 Notre-Dame Street East, Suite 1.120

Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1B5

THE LAWYERS

12. Am I represented by a lawyer in this matter?

Yes. The law firm of Belleau Lapointe, LLP, is representing the class members. The firm may be reached at:

Belleau Lapointe

306 Place d’Youville, Suite B-10

Montreal, Quebec  H2Y 2B6

Toll free number:  1 888-987-6701

Telephone:  514 987-6700

Email: info@belleaulapointe.com

13. Are there fees to pay for members of the class action?

If the agreement is approved, the lawyers for Option consommateurs will ask for the payment of their legal fees and the reimbursement of their expenses. They will ask the Court for $74,916.65 in fees, $17,170.56 of which will be deducted from the sum payable to class members who opted for the financing plan before May 1st, 2009.

OBJECTING TO THE AGREEMENT

You may tell the Court that you do not agree with this agreement, or the fees and expenses of the lawyers.

14. How do I tell the Court if I am against this agreement?

If you have an objection, you must write to the lawyers for Option consommateurs no later than August 26th, 2016:

Belleau Lapointe

306 Place d’Youville, Suite B-10

Montreal, Quebec  H2Y 2B6

Be sure to explain why you are against this agreement. Include your name, address, telephone number and signature. The lawyers will send your letter to the Court.

If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to court to talk about it. However, you may ask to be heard by the Court and attend the hearing. See the section “Court Approval” below.

15. Do I need a lawyer in order to object?

No. You can object without paying a lawyer. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

16. If I object, will I still be eligible to receive a payment?

Yes. If you object, but the agreement is approved, you will still be able to obtain a payment, as long as you do not opt out.

COURT APPROVAL

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the agreement.

17. When and where will the Court consider approving the agreement?

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether the agreement is in the interest of the members. The Court will hold a hearing at 2:15 PM on September 2nd, 2016, in Room 2.08 at the Montréal Courthouse, located at 1 Notre-Dame Street East, Montreal, Province of Quebec, H2Y 1B6. If there are any objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may also decide how much to pay the lawyers representing the class.

18. Do I have to come to a hearing?

No. The lawyers will answer all of the judge’s questions. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. The date of the hearing may be changed without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the following web site before you come : http://www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/brick/.

19. May I speak at the hearing?

You are welcome to come to the hearing and ask the Court permission to speak about the agreement. You may pay a lawyer to attend and speak for you, but that is not required.

20. How long will it take the Court to decide about the agreement?

The Court may decide to approve the agreement at the hearing or later. If it approves the agreement, it must allow time for any appeal. After all that, the agreement becomes “final”.

GETTING MORE INFORMATION

21. How do I get more information?

You can get a copy of the agreement at the following addresses:

If you have any questions, you may also call or write to Option consommateurs or to its lawyers at the firm of Belleau Lapointe:

Option consommateurs

Maison du développement durable

50 Sainte-Catherine Street West, Suite 440

Montreal, Quebec  H2X 3V4

Belleau Lapointe

306 Place d’Youville, Suite B-10

Montreal, Quebec  H2Y 2B6

Toll free number:  1-888-412-1313

Telephone:  514-598-7288

Email: info@option-consommateurs.org

Toll free number:  1-888-987-6701

Telephone:  514-987-6700

Email info@belleaulapointe.com

The Official court reference for this class action is:

Option consommateurs and Henri Joly v. The Brick Warehouse LP, No. 500-06-000485-090, Superior Court of Quebec for the District of Montreal.

 

 

Chronology

September 2016

Justice Crête will hear a motion for the approval of the re-re-amended settlement agreement concluded with Brick.

September 2014

Justice Crête approves the re-amended settlement agreement concluded with Brick.

Novembre 2012

Justice Crête approves the settlement agreement concluded with Brick.

Septembre 2012

The settlement agreement concluded with Brick was amended.

June 2012

A settlement agreement was concluded with Brick.

February 2011

The class action is authorized.

June 2010

The Superior Court hears the Motion for authorization of a class action. The matter is under advisement.

November 2009

Filing of the Motion for authorization to institute a class action.