What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of June 1 – 8.

1. R. v. Roy 2012 SCC 26

[1] Dangerous driving causing death is a serious criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Like all criminal offences, it consists of two components: prohibited conduct — operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner resulting in death — and a required degree of fault — a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in all the circumstances. The fault component is critical, as it ensures that criminal punishment is only imposed on those deserving the stigma of a criminal conviction. While a mere departure from the standard of care justifies imposing civil liability, only a marked departure justifies the fault requirement for this serious criminal offence.

2. Moore v. Bertuzzi 2012 ONSC 3248

[1] This appeal from a Master’s decision raises the question of when, if at all, a settlement agreement that would normally be protected by the privilege for without prejudice settlement communication must be disclosed to the court and to the adverse parties. The appeal also raises the question of what is the doctrinal nature of the privilege for settlement communications. Is settlement privilege a class or categorical privilege always available if certain pre-requisites are satisfied or is it a case-by-case privilege where the person asserting the privilege must show that the elements of the so-called Wigmore criteria are present?

3. Aviva Insurance Company v. Lombard General Insurance 2012 ONSC 3219

[1] On January 6, 1995, fire swept through a Toronto apartment building. Tragically, several occupants of 2 Forest Laneway died. Others suffered serious injuries.

[2] Eight legal proceedings were brought against various defendants including the building’s owner, Axes Investments Inc. (the “owner”) and property manager Tandem Group Management Inc. (the “property manager”).[1]

[3] The owner and property manager turned to their insurers: predecessors of Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada (“Lombard”)[2] and Aviva Insurance Company of Canada (“Aviva”).

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Roy 2012 CSC 26

[1] La conduite dangereuse ayant causé la mort est une infraction criminelle grave punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal de quatorze ans. Comme toute infraction criminelle, elle est constituée de deux éléments : un comportement prohibé — la conduite d’un véhicule à moteur de façon dangereuse causant ainsi la mort — et un degré de faute requis — un écart marqué par rapport à la norme de diligence que respecterait une personne raisonnable dans les circonstances. L’élément de faute est critique, car il fournit l’assurance qu’une sanction pénale n’est imposée qu’aux seules personnes ayant mérité le stigmate d’une déclaration de culpabilité criminelle. Alors qu’un simple écart par rapport à la norme de diligence suffit à engager la responsabilité civile, seul un écart marqué satisfait à l’exigence de faute de cette infraction criminelle grave.


  1. R. v. Roy is certainly a key distinction between negligence and malice, and effectively reaffirms the meaning of “principles of fundamental justice.” I’ve discussed the matter here.