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Master thread Air Canada Refunds vs credits; Class action lawsuit filed

Master thread Air Canada Refunds vs credits; Class action lawsuit filed

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Old Dec 26, 20, 5:04 am   -   Wikipost
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Latest news on the Class Action Lawsuit by Ms. Janet Donaldson:
https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf...89136/index.do

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32877637-post1199.html

Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
A lawyer friend of mine sent this to me last week

I thought you'd be interested to know that we got the decision in the Federal Court covid class action against the airlines this morning. https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf...89136/index.do

The judge accepted the defendants' arguments that the Federal Court did not have any jurisdiction over the claim so dismissed the case. There are three or four other claims in other provinces about this same issue so the issue as a whole is not dead, but the Federal Court claim, which was out front of the others procedurally, won't be moving forward. (subject to an appeal, which I'm sure will be filed in the next couple weeks)

I had asked him a couple of follow-up questions ("Is it fair to say this decision is a blow to consumers? I presume it would have been preferable to fight one federal case than to have to litigate in 10 provinces, and be subject to the vagaries of law from province to province?") and was waiting to hear back before posting, but since he hasn't yet replied, and you're asking, here you go

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Old Mar 29, 20, 8:54 am
  #1  
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Master thread Air Canada Refunds vs credits; Class action lawsuit filed

COVID-19 Flight Refunds Class Action

Statement of claim: http://evolinklaw.com/wp-content/upl...laim-filed.pdf

Interested to hear the forums thoughts!
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Old Mar 29, 20, 9:50 am
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Will just "hear" the same discussion that is already being thrashed-out in other threads. Another lawsuit just means the issue can be put on the back-burner for 2+ years while the case winds through the now even slower legal system.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 12:31 pm
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Despite this, there could be a trickle down benefit to all of us if you opt in.

It's likely a compelling argument that a law firm could take up on contingency.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 View Post
Despite this, there could be a trickle down benefit to all of us if you opt in.
No one needs to opt-in..... but if the class is certified you can chose to opt out.
This will take *years* to run thru the courts, if it gets off the ground
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Old Mar 29, 20, 1:11 pm
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Regardless of what the outcome is, I can't imagine it will change any of the airlines' behaviours related to this...
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Old Mar 29, 20, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
This will take *years* to run thru the courts, if it gets off the ground
Indeed. This class action lawsuit over expired AP miles was posted in this forum by this member in 2009 and wasn't settled until 2018.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 7:01 pm
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Associated with this will be a claim of bad faith. The Airlines persisted in selling airline tickets right up until the Canadian government made its more explicit return to Canada request and moved to stop international flights. This isn't about the stupidity of people who continued to fly. Rather it is about a business decision to keep selling tickets that the airlines were aware that they would not be able to honour. They were gambling with customer funds. The airlines had a duty of care to warn customers as far back as mid February as the pandemic grew that there was a strong likelihood that flights would be cancelled. It was evident this would explode even then. Yes, there was a responsibility of the customers to act in a prudent manner, but the airline industry dropped the ball on this.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by codfather View Post
I can't imagine it will change any of the airlines' behaviours related to this...
Contracts of Carriage will be amended to ensure nobody gets cash refunds for any reason. Since very few people read contracts before agreeing to them, it will come as a surprise to most.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 9:59 pm
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I suspect the Government will pass legislation instituting a some sort of statutory force majeure doctrine. Additionally, there is still a decent chance that AC ultimately files for CCAA, in which case, the not refunded tickets would be unsecured claims and a judicial stay entered against the proceedings.
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Old Mar 30, 20, 6:44 am
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The only people who win in class actions are the lawyers. The defendant takes a huge financial hit which hurts its business (and ultimately its customers). They are usually settled for a portion of the claimed amount and then the lawyers take a huge cut, leaving the plaintiffs in a case like this with very little, after years of waiting. They are usually portrayed as some great win for "the little guy", touting multi-million dollar wins, but this is far from the reality for most plaintiffs.
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Old Mar 30, 20, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
The only people who win in class actions are the lawyers. The defendant takes a huge financial hit which hurts its business (and ultimately its customers). They are usually settled for a portion of the claimed amount and then the lawyers take a huge cut, leaving the plaintiffs in a case like this with very little, after years of waiting. They are usually portrayed as some great win for "the little guy", touting multi-million dollar wins, but this is far from the reality for most plaintiffs.
Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Indeed. This class action lawsuit over expired AP miles was posted in this forum by this member in 2009 and wasn't settled until 2018.
Proof that you should never do anything about anything.
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Old Mar 30, 20, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by KenHamer View Post
Proof that you should never do anything about anything.
Yep
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Old Mar 30, 20, 9:08 am
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the govt will end up bailing out AC perhaps at that time they will force AC to give refunds.
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Old Mar 30, 20, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by tshirt View Post
the govt will end up bailing out AC perhaps at that time they will force AC to give refunds.
In that case, AC isn't giving refunds, the gov't is.
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Old Mar 30, 20, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by KenHamer View Post
Proof that you should never do anything about anything.
Somewhat of a false narrative, the objective is to change behaviour more than it is to save all-encompassing net cash costs to consumers. Personally, I think the objectives of the lawsuit are overshadowed by the probability that any sniff of large success by the plaintiffs will lead to immediate bankruptcy protection for AC (and similarly for WestJet or any other Canadian airline subject to a similar suit); if they aren't already there by the time this gets to trial (if ever).

What would be more useful is that future amendments to the tariffs and regulations make standard provisions for force majeure events that balance (have fun deciding that one) the rights and obligations of the customer/carrier based upon the specific circumstances.
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