Class-action lawsuit filed against Rogers over outage

The lawsuit accuses Rogers of "gross negligence" and seeks $400 per member

Quebec resident Arnaud Verdier launched a class-action lawsuit against Rogers over the company’s massive, nationwide outage, which took down internet and wireless networks, disrupting emergency capabilities, financial services and government services on July 8th.

The outage lasted for almost the entire day. Rogers claimed it restored services for the “majority” of customers on the morning of July 9th, but issues continued for many through the weekend.

As reported by CTV News Montreal, the lawsuit was filed by law firm LPC Avocat Inc. in Superior Court on Monday in Montreal. The suit seeks $400 for members who are Rogers customers affected by the network failure, as well as for flanker-brand customers like Fido and Chatr. Although not indicated by CTV News, the lawsuit arguably should include customers of wholesale ISPs that run on Rogers’ network as well. The lawsuit does seek compensation for non-Rogers customers who could not complete debit transactions or e-transfers due to the outage taking down Interac’s payment network.

The $400 comes from two sources — $200 per member for failing to provide service, and the other $200 for Rogers’ “false representations” about having the most reliable network. Exhibits filed with the lawsuit show that Rogers allegedly instructed employees to remove advertising material with the phrase “Get on Canada’s most Reliable 5G Network” from stores on the day of the outage.

On July 9th, Rogers president and CEO Tony Staffieri released a statement attributing the outage to a botched maintenance update. In the filing, Verdier says Rogers should have tested the update before deploying it through an IT process called “staging.” The suit also accuses Rogers of deploying the update without a “rollback,” saying the outage “can only be qualified as a gross negligence on the part of Rogers.”

CTV News says Verdier filed the lawsuit because he believes Rogers’ promise of two days’ worth of credit is “wholly inadequate” for the damage suffered.

Update 12/07/2022 5:36pm ET: According to the Globe and Mail, Rogers says it will credit its customers with the equivalent of five days of service cost.

Source: CTV News Montreal