Category: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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B.C. Court of Appeal Decision a Setback for Class Action Defendants

August 28, 2017

On August 18, 2017, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) released a significant decision relating to certification matters for class actions that could have wide-ranging effects on competition class actions commenced in B.C. and elsewhere. Godfrey v. Sony Corporation (Godfrey) involved an appeal from a B.C. Supreme Court decision allowing certification of a class action on behalf…

Ontario Court Upholds Ruling Reducing Exaggerated Lien

August 18, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) recently released its decision in HMI Construction Inc. v. Index Energy Mills Road Corp., upholding a motion decision that reduces the security required to vacate liens registered under the Construction Lien Act (CLA). The decision illustrates the importance for contractors to correctly calculate their lien claims, the remedies available to an owner…

Lien on Me: B.C. Court Cancels Builder’s Lien Due to Procedural Misstep

August 2, 2017

In Scandia Paving Ltd. v. Bengag (Scandia Paving), the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Court) cancelled the plaintiff’s builder’s lien because the plaintiff commenced its enforcement action in the wrong court registry. The Court had discretion to preserve the lien by transferring the action to the correct court registry, but declined to do so, principally due to the plaintiff’s failure…

Who Is My Neighbour? Ontario Court Rejects a Duty of Care to Employees of Foreign Suppliers

July 24, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently dismissed a proposed class action arising out of the collapse of a manufacturing facility in Bangladesh. On July 5, 2017, in Das v. George Weston Limited (Das), the court found that under either Bangladesh or Ontario law, putative class members had no legally viable claims against the defendants. The decision raises several local…

Arrested Development: Ship Released from Arrest Despite Pending Appeal

July 20, 2017

In Platypus Marine, Inc. v. TATU (TATU), the Federal Court of Canada (Court) ordered that the defendant ship be released from arrest because there was no outstanding judgment. Although the plaintiff was appealing a judgment dismissing part of the plaintiff’s claim, the ship owner had paid the full amount awarded against it. In those circumstances, the ship owner successfully argued…

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms That Online Newspapers Are Still “Newspapers”

July 18, 2017

On July 7, 2017, in John v. Ballingall, the Court of Appeal for Ontario (Court) confirmed that an online newspaper is a “newspaper” within the meaning of the Ontario Libel and Slander Act (LSA), attracting the same libel notice requirements and short limitation period protections as a print newspaper. In so doing, the Court affirmed the interpretation of the LSA…

Supreme Court of Canada Promises New Utility Test for Patents

July 18, 2017

What does “useful”, one of the basic requirements for the patentability of an invention, mean in Canadian patent law? On June 30, 2017, in AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc. (AstraZeneca), the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled that the threshold for utility is low — a mere scintilla will do. In fact, requiring anything more is not only overly…

Ontario Court Upholds Landmark Anti-Bribery Conviction

July 13, 2017

On July 6, 2017, in R. v. Karigar, the Ontario Court of Appeal (Court) dismissed an appeal by Mr. Nazir Karigar of his conviction for agreeing to offer a bribe to a foreign public official, contrary to section 3(1)(b) of the federal Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). In 2013, this was the first conviction against an individual under…

Supreme Court of Canada Allows British Columbians to Pursue Privacy Class Action Against Facebook

June 29, 2017

On June 23, 2017, in Douez v. Facebook Inc. (Douez), the Supreme Court of Canada considered the enforceability of forum selection clauses involving consumers and privacy rights. The application judge had declined to enforce a forum selection clause and granted class certification in an action alleging breaches of B.C.’s Privacy Act for unauthorized use of individuals’ names and likenesses. The…

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Ongoing “Gatekeeper” Function in Respect of Expert Evidence

June 22, 2017

In its recent decision in Bruff-Murphy v. Gunawardena (Bruff-Murphy), the Court of Appeal for Ontario (Court) set aside a jury award and ordered a new trial on the basis that the trial judge did not correctly apply the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) test relating to the admission of expert evidence. The Court’s decision in Bruff-Murphy provides valuable guidance as…

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