Osler successfully defeated a class action against Hydro One Inc., that claimed that its 1.3 million customers were overbilled since 2013. The case followed high profile criticism of the 2013 launch of Hydro One’s billing and customer service systems – including investigation by the Province’s Ombudsman culminating in a critical “In The Dark” report. In November 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Justice Perell) dismissed the plaintiff’s motion for certification, finding there was no evidence of ongoing billing problems, that the commonality requirements were not met, and that the Ontario Energy Board offered a preferable procedure. The plaintiff’s appeal was dismissed by the Divisional Court on December 31, 2018. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the plaintiffs’ application for leave to appeal on March 26, 2018. This is one of the few recent cases in Ontario denying certification of a consumer and billing class action, that has been upheld on appeal, and one of the very few to uphold a preferable regulatory procedure. Kirk Baert and Garth Myers of Koskie Minsky, and Eric Hoaken and Ian Matthews of Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb represented the plaintiff class.
Hydro One is publicly traded, with $6 billion in revenue annually, and is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution company, covering approximately 75% of the province. It is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.