Shoppers Drug Mart faces C$1 billion class action

Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:29pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Shoppers Drug Mart faces a proposed C$1 billion ($980 million) class-action lawsuit filed by two of the drugstore chain's owner-operators, the company said on Monday.

The lawsuit notice, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleges that Shoppers and two affiliates breached their contracts by collecting and retaining funds and benefits that exceeded agreements.

The lawsuit was "without merit and (we) will vigorously defend the claim," Shoppers said in response.

Shoppers, one of Canada's largest pharmacy chains, licenses 1,181 stores to pharmacists, or "associates," who own and operate the store and share in the company's profits.

The shares slipped 13 Canadian cents, or 0.35 percent, to C$37.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

(Reporting by Solarina Ho)

<p>A pedestrian walks past a Shoppers Drug Mart in Ottawa November 10, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>