Jeremy Martin was quoted in the article titled “Telus Class Action Case Heads to the SCC,” published by Law Times.
Writes Shannon Kari: “The application of a key provision in the provincial Arbitration Act when there are class actions involving two different types of potential claimants will be before the Supreme Court of Canada this fall. Leave was granted to Telus from an Ontario Court of Appeal decision last year that declined to issue a partial stay related to business customers in a $520-million class action filed over the rounding up of wireless calls to the next minute for billing purposes, allegedly without disclosing the practice. The appeal in Wellman v. Telus Communications Company, which has attracted a number of consumer and business organizations seeking leave to intervene, will also likely examine whether a Court of Appeal decision in 2010 on similar issues is still good law.”
Jeremy suggests that if the Court of Appeal decision is upheld, it would expand the ability to bring a class action beyond what was originally intended. “Class actions tend to be procedural only. They are to advance claims that could not otherwise be brought. The relevant section of the Arbitration Act permits a court ‘to separate issues’ within an agreement and not the entire agreement itself. The question of whether you can get business claims through the back door is about inflating the total damages.”