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Quebec Court Dismisses Extended-Viewing Fee Lawsuit Against Blockbuster

29 Sep, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

After hearing nearly two weeks of testimony in March, a Quebec court has dismissed a lawsuit objecting to Blockbuster's extended-viewing fee policy and ordered the plaintiffs to reimburse Blockbuster for court costs, the chain reported.

“The Quebec court's decision validates our position that these extended-viewing fee cases have no merit and are being driven by the plaintiffs' lawyers who are looking for an opportunistic settlement,” said Blockbuster EVP and general counsel Edward B. Stead. “We hope this decision will end this litigation. However, if the plaintiffs' attorneys continue pursuing this matter, we will continue defending ourselves while at the same time maintaining emphasis on taking care of our customers.”

Justice Jacques R. Fournier found that the plaintiffs' claim of exploitation did not “correspond to the commercial reality,” according to Blockbuster. Indeed, recognizing that Blockbuster had responded to demand by extending the initial rental period, Justice Fournier found that it would have been “ironic” if Blockbuster should “today be penalized for having offered more than it was offering before.”

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