Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

  1. Rochon v. MacDonald 2014 ONSC 591

    [7] It is important to distinguish between liability for the accident and liability to pay a judgment. The apportionment of liability is one of the factors that the court should consider in exercising discretion under section 131 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C-43 (see Rule 57.01). The practical obligation to pay a judgment is not one of the factors for consideration. I am not prepared to extend the meaning of “apportionment of liability” to include liability to pay the damages awarded in a proceeding. In my view, it would not be appropriate, as a matter of course, for a joint tortfeasor found to be minimally responsible for an accident to be ordered to pay costs strictly in accordance with its liability to pay the damages. In underinsured cases, this would permit the OPCF carrier to drive the litigation with little or no regard to costs exposure once it was foreseeable that some liability might attach to the actions of a jointly and severally liable co-defendant.

  2. A.I. Enterprises Ltd. v. Bram Enterprises Ltd. 2014 SCC 12

    [1] A group of family members, through their companies, owned an apartment building. The majority of them wanted to sell it, but one of them did not. He took a series of actions to thwart the sale. The result was that the ultimate sale price was nearly $400,000 less than it otherwise might have been. When the majority sued to recover this loss, the main question was whether the dissenting family member and his company were liable for what the trial judge referred to as the tort of unlawful interference with economic relations.

    [2] While this tort is far from new, its scope is unsettled and needs clarification. There is not even any generally accepted nomenclature for the tort. It is variously referred to as “unlawful interference with economic relations”, “interference with a trade or business by unlawful means”, “intentional interference with economic relations”, or simply “causing loss by unlawful means”. I will refer to it by either the latter name or simply as the “unlawful means” tort.

  3. R. v. Clarke 2013 ONCA 7

    [11] This appeal is not about the wisdom of the Truth in Sentencing Act. Indeed, it is not even about the constitutionality of the Act: the appellant has not argued on appeal, and did not argue at trial, that s. 5 infringes s. 11(i) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 11(i) provides that if the punishment for an offence has been varied between the time of commission of the offence and the time of sentencing, the person found guilty of the offence “has the right…to the benefit of the lesser punishment.” That section plays no part in this appeal.

    [12] Therefore, this appeal turns solely on a question of statutory interpretation. The question is whether the Act applies to an offender’s sentence, where the offender committed the offences for which he was sentenced before the Act came into force, but was charged with those offences after the Act came into force. I would answer that question “yes” – the Act does apply.

The most-consulted French-language decision was Gauthier c. Beaumont [1998] 2 RCS 3

34 LE JUGE GONTHIER — Le présent pourvoi porte principalement sur la notion d’impossibilité absolue en fait d’agir comme cause de suspension de la prescription extinctive.

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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