A class action against Pet Valu Canada Inc. (“Pet Valu”) was certified on January 14, 2011. The class action alleges that Pet Valu has a duty to share with franchisees “Volume Rebates” received from suppliers. Pet Valu denies that it is required to do so. Beginning July 15, 2011, class members were allowed to opt-out of the class action if they elected to do so by September 15, 2011.
On July 27, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice invalidated all opt-out notices made on or after September 5, 2011 resulting from an opt-out campaign carried on by a group called “Concerned Pet Valu Franchisees”. The Court’s decision can be found here.
As a result, the Court ordered that any opt-out received on or after September 5, 2011 is invalid. The Court also ordered that any person who opted out before this time may request to set aside its opt-out notice.
Pet Valu and the Concerned Pet Valu Franchisees intend to appeal from the Court’s decision. If such an appeal is allowed, the invalidated opt-outs may be validated.
A court hearing will occur to decide whether Pet Valu’s franchise agreement requires it to share “Volume Rebates” with its franchisees and whether it has failed to do so. Pet Valu and the plaintiff have both asked for this issue to be decided. Once this has been finally determined by the courts, a new notice will be sent to class members explaining the decision and providing them with the opportunity to opt out at that time.
Up-to-date information, including all Court documents, can be viewed here.