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Canadian Internet Defamation Rulings
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2017 August 31
Demers v Yahoo! Inc., 2017 QCCS 4154

The Quebec Superior Court dismissed an application by the defendants Yahoo! Inc. and Yahoo! Canada Inc. to decline jurisdiction over an application by Demers to bring a class action on behalf of a proposed class of persons residing in Quebec who alleged their personal and financial information was allegedly lost by or stolen from the defendants.  The Court referred to Douez v Facebook, Inc., 2017 SCC 33, where the Supreme Court of Canada applied common law tests and found that a contract between Facebook users and Facebook, Inc. was a consumer contract and that a choice of forum clause favoring Facebook was not enforceable against Facebook users.  Although the Quebec Superior Court recognized there were distinctions between the Demers case and the Douez case, it concluded that the relationship in Demers was a consumer contract of adhesion.  Applying Quebec legislation, the Court held that the waiver of Quebec jurisdiction did not apply to deprive Demers of the right to seek certification of a class action in Quebec.  The Court found there was a jurisdictional connection to Quebec because the allegation of damages stemming from mental distress were sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Civil Code of Quebec that damages were suffered in Quebec.