Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice will allow a class action lawsuit to proceed against BlackBerry Ltd. from former employees alleging the company misled them when they accepted a transfer to Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. as part of a strategic partnership.
Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP filed a notice of action in Ontario Superior Court in 2017 on behalf of David Parker. Mr. Parker claimed he had accepted a transfer to Ford, a strategic partner with BlackBerry through the latter’s QNX connected-car software platform, only to find that he would not receive termination benefits from BlackBerry, or retain his years of service.
At the time, the company said it was “confident we complied with all our obligations to our employees. Therefore, we believe the case lacks merit and we will defend against it vigorously."
In a decision this week, Justice Michel Charbonneau wrote that Mr. Parker’s application satisfied the criteria for a class-action proceeding. The original filling claimed a breach of good faith, and that BlackBerry misled the workers with a transaction that circumvents statutory entitlements. It sought both punitive damages and severance benefits for terminated employees.
The firm said through a publicist that individuals affected by these events would be included in the class action unless they choose to opt out, with more information available in the coming days. In 2017, the firm claimed that more than 100 Ottawa-area workers were affected and as many as 200 elsewhere in Canada.