RE: Lawn Mower Engine Horsepower Rating Conspiracy
The content of this page has not been approved by the Court nor does it constitute legal advice. It is for the purpose of providing general information only.
Summary of the Proceedings
This claim is brought on behalf of all Canadians who purchased, for their own use and not for resale, a lawn mower containing a gas combustible engine of 30 horsepower or less which was manufactured and/or sold by a Defendant company between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 2012.
It is alleged that the Defendants participated in an unlawful conspiracy to raise, fix, maintain or stabilize the price of lawn mowers in Canada, lessen unduly competition in the production, manufacture, sale and/or supply of lawn mowers and lawn mower engines, and/or to conduct business contrary to the Competition Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.
Harrison Pensa LLP is working in concert on a national basis with Consumer Law Group Inc. in Quebec in the prosecution of this matter.
Status of the Proceedings
The Ontario class action has been certified against certain defendants for settlement purposes only. The matter has not proceeded to a contested certification hearing against those remaining defendants who have not settled the litigation.
The Plaintiffs will seek authorization of the Quebec Proceeding in concert with the Settlement Approval Hearing in Quebec.
To date, two settlement agreements have been reached (the “Settlement Agreements”).
Under the first agreement, MTD Products Limited and MTD Products Inc (collectively “MTD”) has agreed to pay $300,000.00 for the benefit of settlement class members and to provide evidence and co-operation to the plaintiffs in pursuing their claims against the remaining non-settling defendants (the “MTD Settlement Agreement”). The MTD Settlement Agreement also resolved the allegations and litigation against Sears Canada Inc., Sears Holdings Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Co. (collectively “Sears”).
Under the second agreement, Briggs & Stratton Canada Inc., Briggs & Stratton Corporation (collectively “Briggs”), Electrolux Canada Corp., Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (collectively “Electrolux”), John Deere Canada ULC, Deere & Company (collectively “John Deere”), Husqvarna Canada Corp., Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A. Inc, (collectively “Husqvarna”), Kohler Canada Co., Kohler Co. (collectively “Kohler”) and The Toro Company (Canada), Inc. and the Toro Company (collectively “Toro”) together have agreed to pay CAD$4,200,000.00 for the benefit of Settlement Class Members (the “Briggs & Stratton et al. Settlement Agreement”).
In exchange, the Settling Defendants will be provided with a full release of claims against them in the Lawn Mowers Class Action. The Settling Defendants do not admit any wrongdoing or liability in connection with the case.
The litigation continues as against all Non-Settling Defendants to the Proceedings.
As the litigation is ongoing against the Non-Settling Defendants, there will be no distribution of settlement funds at this time. The continuing litigation may or may not result in further settlements or judgments. If there is a further recovery, it will be added to the present settlement monies, which will be held in an interest-bearing trust account and an efficient distribution will be made at an appropriate time. The Courts will approve when and to whom the settlement funds are distributed.
SETTLEMENT APPROVAL AND COUNSEL FEES
The settlements must be approved by the Ontario and Québec Courts before they become effective. Hearings have been set for September 20, 2013 at 10:00am at 80 Dundas Street, London, Ontario and for September 25, 2013 at 9:30am at 1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montréal, Québec. At these hearings, the Courts will determine whether the settlements are fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class members and what fees and expenses will be paid to the lawyers as a result of these settlements. The lawyers for the Plaintiffs will be requesting that legal fees of up to 25 percent of the settlement funds plus disbursements and applicable taxes be approved by the Courts and paid out of the settlement funds.
If you do not oppose the proposed Settlement Agreements, you do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action at this time.
If you wish to comment on or object to the Settlement Agreements, you must deliver a written submission to the lawyer below by September 10, 2013. The lawyer will forward any submissions to the appropriate Court.
If the Settlement Agreements are approved by the Courts in Ontario and Québec, further notices will be posted online at www.lawnmowersettlement.ca.
OPTING OUT OF THE PROCEEDING
If you want to participate as a class member in the Lawn Mowers Class Action, you do not need to do anything to continue to be included as a class member. You will be entitled to participate in the Settlements and you will be legally bound by the result of the Lawn Mowers Class Action. If you do not opt-out of this action, you will be bound by any Settlement Agreements approved by the Court and may not opt-out of this action in the future.
If you do not want to be a class member for the Lawn Mowers Class Action, you must exclude yourself by September 17, 2013. To opt-out, please complete the opt-out form and send it to the address listed therein. The opt-out form must be received no later than September 18, 2013.
Quebec class members must also send the completed opt-out form to:
Clerk of the Superior Court of Québec
Palais de justice de Montréal
1, rue Notre-Dame Est
Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1B6
Court File No. 500-06-000507-109
- Statement of Claim
- MTD Settlement Agreement
- Briggs & Stratton et al. Settlement Agreement
- Court approved Short-Form Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing Notice (English)
- Court approved Short-Form Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing Notice (French)
- Court approved Long-Form Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing Notice (English)
- Court approved Long-Form Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing Notice (French)