Global commerce transcends borders. When related litigation
ensues, it can give rise to thorny jurisdictional issues. For
instance, when an Ontario-headquartered mining company relies
— based on recommendations from its technical staff in its
Vancouver satellite office — upon the engineering reports of
US-based consultants to build a gold mine in Costa Rica which then
collapses, does an Ontario court have jurisdiction over the
subsequent legal dispute between the parties?
The Ontario Court of Appeal addressed this very scenario
recently in Central Sun Mining Inc. v. Vector Engineering
Inc., 2013 ONCA 601. Central Sun was an Ontario company
with its head office in Toronto. It retained various American
engineering consultants to assist with the siting and the design of
a proposed mine which was to be built in Costa Rica. The
American consultants prepared various reports, some of which were
sent to technical staff in Vancouver (some reports were sent to
Ontario directly). The Vancouver staff then made recommendations to
the head office in Toronto where the strategic decisions regarding
the mine were made. The mine was constructed in Costa Rica but then
suffered a catastrophic collapse which led to the shutdown of the
mine, significant remediation costs and the plummeting of Central
Sun's stock prices in Toronto. Central Sun then sued the
US engineers in Ontario for negligent misrepresentation (among
other causes of action). The US engineers sought to stay the
Ontario action, claiming that Ontario courts did not have
The essence of the engineers' argument was that the tort of
misrepresentation did not occur in Ontario (but rather in Vancouver
or Costa Rica), or that only a minor part of the tort occurred in
Ontario. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument. The appeal
court ruled that a misrepresentation takes place where it is
received and relied upon. The misrepresentations, the Court
concluded, were received and relied upon in Toronto as the
controlling mind of the company was in Ontario, even though the
misrepresentations were first sent in some cases to Vancouver. The
commission of the tortious misrepresentation gave rise, in the
Court's view, to presumptive jurisdiction by an Ontario court.
Furthermore, the presumptive jurisdiction was not rebutted as the
receipt of, and reliance upon, a misrepresentation are
"core" aspects of a misrepresentation and such receipt
and reliance took place in Ontario.
In a significant victory for Central Sun, which was represented
by our Firm, the Court of Appeal concluded that Ontario courts have
jurisdiction over the misrepresentation claim and, by extension,
the other pled causes of action.
The next battle is whether Ontario is the forum conveniens.
The decision in Central Sun demonstrates that a
negligent misrepresentation will be deemed, for jurisdictional
purposes, to have been committed in the jurisdiction in which the
misrepresentation is ultimately relied upon by the controlling mind
of a company, even if it is received elsewhere first, particularly
when this is in the reasonable contemplation of the party making
The McCarthy Tétrault Opinions Group consists of
members of the firm's litigation department whose practices
focus on written advocacy and the provision of strategic advice and
opinions in the context of complex business disputes and
transactions. The members of the Opinions Group are Anthony
Alexander, Martin Boodman, Brandon Kain, Hovsep Afarian and Kirsten
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).