GM Canada hit with $750 million lawsuit


General Motors of Canada has been hit with another lawsuit on behalf of all the dealers that signed the wind-down agreement with the manufacturer in May.

The 36-page claim, filed today in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, lists Trillium Motor World Ltd. as the lone plaintiff. The claim says it brings the action on behalf of the dealers, adding that there are approximately 215 members of the class.

Despite other news reports, the claim has not been filed by all 215 dealers.

According to the claim, the plaintiffs are seeking damages “in an amount to be proven, not exceeding $750 million in respect of all class members’ losses and damages…”

The claim seeks to make any declaration made on a waiver or release contained in the automakers no famous wind-down agreement “null, void and unenforceable…”

It also states GM breached the provisions of the Wishart Act by having dealers sign the agreement, thereby terminating their franchise agreements with the company.

“GM had no right under the Dealer Agreement to unilaterally terminate any of the affected dealers’ Dealer Agreements,” the claim says. It goes on to say GM offered the affected dealers a time-limited offer of compensation that allowed some dealers “just two to four business days to make the crucial and difficult decision whether or not to enter into the WDA.”

When contacted by Canadian AutoWorld yesterday, GM spokesperson Tony LaRocca said the company will not comment on any matter before the courts.

Attorney John Sotos, who issued the claim on behalf of the group, said in the document that GM acted unlawfully in presenting the WDA to dealers in Ontario, Alberta and PEI.

Trillium Motor World Ltd. previously operated as Trillium Pontiac Buick GMC Ltd. in Toronto from 1989 to 2009.

The defendants include General Motors, the legal firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and Cassels’ layers Peter Harris and Michael Weinczok.