respondents, who were due funds, entered into a settlement
agreement with the appellants who claimed to have limited funds to
satisfy the debt. When additional information came to light in
respect of the appellant's finances, the respondents sought to
set aside the agreement. Siding in favour of the respondents, the
application judge found that that the respondents were induced to
enter into the settlement agreement by the appellants'
intentional misrepresentations concerning their ability to pay the
outstanding amounts and, further, that the respondents relied on
those misrepresentations, to their detriment.
The appellants appealed, arguing that
the application judge erred by (1) making key factual findings that
were not supported by the evidentiary record, (2) failing to
convert the application into a trial of the issues, and (3) by
failing to provide any or sufficient reasons for his ruling.
Held: The Court
rejected the appellants' arguments. First, there was ample
evidence before the application judge to support the finding that
the settlement agreement was entered into on the basis of material
misrepresentations. At the time the settlement offer was made the
respondents did not know that a sale of the appellants' real
property, against which the respondents had registered executions,
was scheduled to close within days. They further did not know that
the anticipated proceeds of sale were sufficient to pay the monies
Second, at no time did the appellants
seek an order from the application judge for the trial of an issue.
Nor, in light of the written record before the application judge,
was a trial required. The appellants essentially acknowledged as
much in their cross-application when they sought, as primary
relief, a declaration that an enforceable settlement agreement had
been entered into by the parties and orders compelling its
enforcement. Third, the application judge provided oral reasons for
the core of his decision and supplemented those reasons with a
short written endorsement.
The editor wishes to acknowledge the valuable
contributions of Elka Dadmand to this case note.
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