September 30, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
An attempt by Blockbuster Inc. customers to launch a class action suit against the video store chain over its fees has been blocked by the Quebec courts.
Blockbuster announced this week that after a two-week hearing, the Quebec Superior Court had not only dismissed the lawsuit, but would order the plaintiffs to pay Blockbuster’s legal fees. The case, which mirrors similar suits in the U.S., accuses the video store chain of charging excessive “extended viewing” fees.
“The Quebec court’s decision validates our position that these extended viewing fee cases have no merit and are being driven by the plaintiffs’ lawyers who are looking for an opportunistic settlement,” says Blockbuster general counsel Edward B. Stead. “Our members clearly understand extended viewing fees are a necessary part of the rental business.”
In his finding, Justice Fournier found that Blockbuster had devised the extended viewing fees in response to customer demand and therefore it made little sense to penalize the company for its policy.