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Monday, February 26, 2007

Law Prof Takes on Cell Phone Company

Here's a great David v. Goliath story about Osgoode Hall professor Susan Drummond taking on cellphone company Rogers Communication's Inc.  Drummond was angered when Rogers shut off her 11-year-old son's cellphone service without first notifying her that it planned to do so.

The net result: despite her lack of trial experience, Prof Drummond won $2,000 in punitive damages against Rogers and slightly more than $800 in compensatory damages for breach of contract.  Another result: "I'm sure that the Rogers' legal department is redrafting their agreement as we speak," Drummond says.  The article further reports:

Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers' Association of Canada, praised Drummond's work.

"The problem is these companies completely control these contracts," he said.

"It's a take-it-or-leave-it thing. You sign the contract or you don't get the service. I'm sure a lot of the stuff in these contracts would not pass legal tests, if someone would challenge it, but people very rarely do.

"I take my hat off to this woman."

Drummond kept her Rogers cellphone until recently, when she was able to give it up without incurring an early cancellation fee of $200.

"I am a Scot and by God I wasn't going to pay that early cancellation fee," she says.

"I was just sick at the thought of paying $200 to get out of the contract."

[Meredith R. Miller]

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