On January 9th 2018, prof. Catherine Piché’s doctoral thesis was cited by Justice Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court in bread price-fixing class action case.
 At that stage, it may become relevant to consider whether it is appropriate that part of any settlement payment by Loblaw be composed of a $25 card that can only be used at a Loblaw store. That type of settlement – often dubbed a ‘coupon settlement’ – has been subject to some criticism in the class action literature: see Catherine Piché, Fairness in Class Action Settlements (McGill University, 2010), at pp. 59-64; Christopher R. Leslie, “The Need to Study Coupon Settlements in Class Action Litigation,” 18 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1395, 1396–98 (2005). Indeed, Judge Richard Posner has characterized the use of coupons as currency by a Defendant as “a warning sign of a questionable settlement”: Saltzman v Pella Corporation, 606 F.3d 391 (7th Cir. 2010). There is an argument that since corporate behavior modification is one of the important goals of class action litigation, see Hollick v Toronto (City), 2001 SCC 68 (CanLII),  3 SCR 158, at para. 27, coupons issued by a Defendant – which benefit the Defendant by providing increased marketing and profit opportunities – are in some instances not an appropriate settlement device.
Read the complete decision David v Loblaws, 2018 ONSC 198 here.
This content has been updated on January 30, 2018 at 10:58 am.