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Quebec judge dismisses $2.5M Dollarama class action settlement

A Dollarama store at Yonge and Wellesley in Toronto. A Quebec judge has dismissed a $2.5 million class action settlement on behalf of Dollarama customers who purchased products subject to an eco fee. (Michael Wilson/CBC - image credit)

A Quebec judge has dismissed a $2.5-million class action settlement on behalf of Dollarama customers who purchased products subject to an eco fee.

The proposed settlement was reached on Feb. 21 and was subject to court approval. The judge dismissed the settlement on April 17, according to a website dedicated to the class action.

Law firm LPC Avocats informed class members of the decision in a letter on Friday.

That means members of the class won't receive gift cards or any other compensation that they would've been entitled to under the settlement, the website said.

Class counsel Joey Zukran confirmed in an email to CBC News that the case would proceed as if no settlement had been reached.

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In the letter to class members, Zukran wrote that "at this stage, the parties can either proceed to litigate the matter, or renegotiate a new settlement," in which case a new class action notice would be sent out.

Decision documents show that the judge concluded there wasn't enough proof that the settlement would be beneficial to class members or that the class action had been structured correctly.

No proof of purchase was required to claim a gift card. Items subject to an eco fee include batteries, electronics, light bulbs or toys with batteries.

Anyone who purchased a product subject to an environmental handling fee from Dollarama in Quebec between Dec. 11, 2019, and July 4, 2023, or elsewhere in Canada between May 29, 2021, to July 4, 2023, would have been eligible to claim a gift card with a maximum value of $15.00.

Dollarama agreed to the original settlement but denied any wrongdoing and liability.

The company told CBC News in an email late Friday that it is "currently reviewing the ruling and evaluating next steps."

"As the matter is before the courts, we won't be making additional comment at this time," the company said.