Appellate lawyer, Jasmine Akbarali provides a summary of
Lerners' Top 5 Ontario civil appeals decisions from March,
Cavanaugh v. Grenville Christian College -----
This was a proposed class action against the College, two former
headmasters and the Diocese, relating to alleged abuse suffered by
students at the College. The motion judge dismissed the action
against the Diocese outright, and declined to certify the action
against the other defendants. The Court of Appeal agreed with
motion judge with respect to the claim against the Diocese. It
found that whether a duty of care arose depended on the unique
relationship between the Diocese, the priests and those affected by
their conduct. In this case, the pleadings did not disclose
significant proximity to find a duty of care so the claim was
properly dismissed. The appeal from the decision not to certify the
action against the remaining defendants was returned to the
Divisional Court as it was decided that it should be heard by those
experienced in managing class proceedings.
Sam's Auto Wrecking Co. Ltd. (Wentworth Metal) v.
Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada ----- This
case concerned the operation of an "employee injury
exclusion" clause and specifically, whether it operated to
insulate the insurer from liability from having to contribute to a
settlement made in respect of an employee workplace injury claim
made by an executive. The Court of Appeal found that the executive
was both, an executive and employee, and therefore could be covered
by the exclusionary clause. It then turned to interpretation of the
clause, which had to be narrowly construed. However, the clause was
unambiguous and ousted liability on the part of the insurer.
Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
---- This was a proposed class action where the defendant law firm
was alleged to have been negligent in connection with opinions it
gave with respect to a Timeshare Tax Reduction Program. The issue
was whether the claim was statute barred and whether causation
should have been certified as a common issue. The Court of Appeal
found that the action was not statute barred. There had been test
litigation around the Timeshare Tax Reduction Program, which was
not settled until 2008, and it was at that time the limitation
period would begin to run. The Court of Appeal also found that
causation should be certified as a common issue in the class
1654776 Ontario Limited v. Stewart ----- This
case concerned the protection of a journalist's confidential
sources. The Numbered Company was seeking a Norwich Order in
connection with a potential securities fraud claim in which it had
allegedly suffered losses. The motion judge declined to make the
Norwich Order. The Court of Appeal noted that the Wigmore test was
engaged. It decided that it was in the public interest that the
journalist source privilege be protected, thereby upholding the
motion judge's order.
Keewatin v. Ontario (Natural Resources) -----
This case concerned a treaty entered into between the Crown and the
Ojibway, which included a "harvesting clause". Pursuant
to this clause, the Ojibway were entitled to hunt and fish on the
subject lands, subject to the Crown's right to take up the land
for certain purposes. Ontario issued a forestry license in respect
of these lands. The question was whether Ontario needed the
permission or consent of Canada in order to take up the lands
pursuant to the harvesting clause. The Court of Appeal concluded
that the parties to thetreaty were the Ojibway and the Crown, not
any level of government. The Crown's covenants had to be
interpreted within the framework of the division of powers. As a
result, Ontario did not need Canada's permission to take up the
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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