Right now, you could be owed hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars from one of these class action lawsuits in Canada.
If you were impacted by the recent Rogers outage, own an eligible Nissan car, have accepted certain credit card payments, or own a qualifying electronic device, you could be in line for a payout.
A class action lawsuit, according to the Wex Legal Dictionary, is "a procedural device that permits one or more plaintiffs to file and prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or 'class.'"
They are usually filed against large companies, manufacturers, government entities, financial institutions or, sometimes, employers.
Many people could qualify for compensation via a single class action lawsuit, so you may not be directly contacted by a legal firm if you are eligible for money. This means in some cases it's your responsibility to find out whether you qualify for a payout.
With that in mind, here are some of the biggest class action lawsuits in Canada right now that could put money back in your wallet.
Earlier this year, a credit card class action settlement worth USD$131 million (CA$188 million) was reached between Visa, Mastercard and several Canadian banks.
The lawsuit enables eligible merchants to claim up to $600 back in compensation, after a number of banks allegedly conspired with Visa and Mastercard to set higher interchange fees.
Anyone in Canada who accepted payments from Visa or Mastercard credit cards between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, is eligible to claim settlement benefits.
The settlement and the plan for the distribution of the cash have been approved in courts all over the country, including in Ontario, Quebec, B.C., Alberta and more.
Visa, Mastercard and the banks — which includes Citigroup, Capital One, National Bank, CIBC, Royal Bank, TD and more — have agreed to settle the lawsuit, but have not admitted to any wrongdoing or liability.
This multi-million dollar settlement involves big-name brands like Hitachi-LG, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Quanta and Sony, among several others.
The manufacturers and distributors involved are accused of conspiring to fix the prices of optical disk drives (devices that read and/or write data from and to optical discs), with the intent of raising the cost of the items.
The price-fixing class action lawsuits have been filed in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and eligible claimants can get $20 without having to provide proof of purchase. Some customers may qualify for more money, although receipts will be necessary in those cases.
Among the products that may qualify are laptops, desktop computers, CD players, DVD players, video game consoles, Blu-ray disc players and more.
Anybody who purchased eligible products in Canada between January 2004 and January 2010 can make a claim.
Desjardins data breach
People from all over Canada could qualify for some money through this Desjardins class action lawsuit — worth $200 million.
The payout is related to an issue that occurred in June 2019, when a series of technological and administrative failures caused a data breach.
The co-operative, according to Canada's federal privacy commissioner, failed to protect as many as 4.2 million customers' confidential and sensitive information.
Class members can seek a slice of the $200,852,500 settlement as compensation for lost time and identity theft.
Canadians (excluding those from Quebec) who bought or leased some Nissan cars could be eligible for a warranty extension of up to two years, or a reimbursement of up to $6,000 for qualifying repairs and replacements.
The class action lawsuit was filed after some Nissan vehicles allegedly had a continuously variable transmission (CVT) fault, which can lead to poor transmission performance or failure.
Among the vehicles included in the class action lawsuit are; 2013-2016 Nissan Altima, 2013-2017 Nissan Juke, 2013-2017 Nissan Sentra, 2012-2014 Nissan Versa and 2014-2017 Nissan Versa Note.
It's worth noting that Nissan denies these allegations and "agreed to the settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation."
Cathay Pacific data breach
Another data breach class action lawsuit here.
This one is for customers of the Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific. The airline recently agreed to a $1.55 million settlement following allegations that it failed to protect its passengers' confidential data between 2014 and 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that the compromised data includes things like passengers' names, birth dates, passport numbers, addresses and credit card details.
Class action members include "all Canadians and anyone resident in Canada whose personal information was accessed in the data incident disclosed by Cathay Pacific Airways Limited on October 24, 2018."
It's worth noting though, that the only people who will be able to get some money back are those with supporting documents (such as receipts) for the out-of-pocket expenses they incurred.
It's not clear yet exactly how much will be on offer in terms of compensation.
This one is still waiting for the courts to confirm whether it will proceed, but a class action lawsuit has been filed in Canada against multiple airlines, including Air Canada, WestJet, Swoop, Air Transat and more.
It alleges that the airlines "offered consumers travel vouchers or flight credits in sums equivalent to the unused portion of consumers’ airfares instead of providing them with refunds for cancelled flights" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The case seeks to represent customers who bought plane tickets and did not receive full refunds between March 1, 2020, and the date the class action is certified.
You can follow this class action online to find out what will happen next.
This class action lawsuit is still awaiting authorization from a judge, but it proposes $400 for Rogers customers and even non-Rogers customers following the huge outage that took place on July 8, 2022.
The nationwide outage caused serious disruptions, with customers reporting issues related to their Rogers internet, phone and TV services.
Some Canadians reported problems making purchases via debit payment systems, and others were warned that they may have issues contacting emergency services.
The class action says the compensatory and punitive damages from Rogers should be $200 per person, as the telecommunications company "did not perform the service stipulated in the contract on July 8-9, 2022."
It also seeks an extra $200 per person as the company apparently "made false representations with respect to having the most 'reliable' network."
It acknowledges that Rogers has already promised a credit to customers who were impacted, but says this is "wholly inadequate and does not account for the other damages [...] Class members suffered."
Good luck, folks!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.