Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.
This week’s summaries concern:
Family property / Occupational health & safety / Obligation to notify insurer / Opinion evidence / Conditional sentences / Validity of anti-prostitution laws:
Zavarella v. Zavarella 2013 ONCA 720
Family Law – Husband and wife – Marital property – Distribution orders – Equalization payments
About two weeks before she was married, a future wife, with debts of $49,838.70, made an assignment into bankruptcy. Within months of the marriage, the wife was discharged without having made any payments on her debt. The couple separated. Family property litigation ensued. The trial judge, inter alia, held that the wife had to include the $49,838.70 as her date of marriage debt in net family . . .
R. v. XI Technologies Inc. 2013 ABQB 651
Trade Regulation – Industrial safety – Particular offences – Sentences – Considerations on imposing sentence
For a customer appreciation event, XI Technologies Inc. (XI Tech) rented a calf roping machine. An XI Tech employee (a summer intern) was fatally injured while operating the machine. XI Tech faced two charges under occupational health and safety legislation: (1) failing to ensure the employee’s health and safety as far as reasonably practicable, and (2) failing to ensure that the machine would safely perform the . . .
Peebles et al. v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. 2013 BCCA 479
Insurance – The risk – Change in the risk – Obligation to notify the insurer
The plaintiffs’ house was destroyed by an explosion and fire. Their insurer (Wawanesa) denied its liability to indemnify them under the terms of the insurance policy on the basis that the Section 1 Conditions excluded loss or damage occurring after the property had been “vacant” for more than 30 consecutive days, and that a material change of risk had taken place, of which Wawanesa had not . . .
George et al. v. Newfoundland and Labrador 2013 NLTD(G) 170
Evidence – Opinion evidence – Expert evidence – General – When expert evidence required
The representative plaintiffs commenced this class action on January 5, 2011, for damages in respect of personal injuries as a result of moose-vehicle collisions in Newfoundland and Labrador (the defendant). The claims were the torts of strict liability, public nuisance and negligence. The matter was certified as a class action. The plaintiffs’ position was that the commencement of the running of the two-year limitation period was postponed . . .
R. v. Ellis (S.) 2013 ONCA 739
Criminal Law – Punishments (sentence) – Conditional sentence – When available or appropriate
The accused, who was a member of the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, was responsible for deciding refugee claims. He was convicted of a breach of trust in connection with his office (Criminal Code, s. 122), by suggesting to a refugee claimant that he would approve her application if she engaged in intimate relations with him. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. He . . .
Bedford et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2013 SCC 72
Civil Rights – Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Interpretation – Life, liberty and security of the person
The applicants challenged the following three Criminal Code provisions that indirectly restricted the practice of prostitution by criminalizing various related activities. Section 210, which prohibited the operation of common bawdy-houses, prevented prostitutes from offering their services out of fixed indoor locations such as brothels, or even their own homes. Section 212(1)(j), which prohibited living on the avails of prostitution, prevented anyone, including . . .