On April 14, 2011, the Quebec Superior Court rendered a 750-page
decision in the matter of Widdrington v. Wightman et al,
known as the "Castor" case, the longest-running judicial
saga in Canadian legal history. The court found the
accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand (C&L)
and one of its partners to have been negligent in auditing Castor
Holdings Inc., preparing valuation letters and issuing "Legal
for Life" certificates.
C&L has appealed this decision before the Quebec Court of
Appeal, filing a 139-page inscription in appeal on May 13, 2011,
basically setting out that the judge in first instance erred in
several aspects of her decision, namely, in her analysis of the
rules applicable to the liability of auditors to third parties and
on issues related to reliance on the financial statements.
C&L is also critical of the judge's management of the
case and alleges several errors in law and in fact she committed,
namely, regarding relevant standards and their application to the
case. Finally, C&L raises issues relating to the
assessment of damages and the attribution of costs and the
Given that Widdrington has binding effect (on the
common issues) for other court cases initiated as a result of the
Castor failure, more than $1 billion in claims is at stake for
C&L because of this adverse ruling. To be
For more information, a summary of the decision in first
instance is available.
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