We’ve all had experience with vexatious employees (not to mention vexatious colleagues) but we employment and labour lawyers often deal with vexatious litigants who happen to be former or current employees. I’ve personally had experience with employees filing similar claims for similar incidents before the Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Employment Standards Office. These claims can often by filed for free or minimal charge to the employee but generate huge cost for employers. Additonally, employees (particularly those who are self-represented) often file multiple pointless motions with each of those forums.
Thankfully, as chronicled here, the Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia finally had enough with one such litigant. In Liu v. Atlantic Composites Ltd., 2014 NSCA 58, what originally should have been a simple workers’ comp claim spun out of control and cost with the employee claiming damages exceeding FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS against a raft of people for purported violations of the Criminal Code, the Constitution and the Fisheries Act (just kidding on the last one). Justice Saunders summarized the Appelant’s conduct as follows:
 Even if either appeal had merit, I would order that they be dismissed on the basis that each is vexatious and an abuse of process (CPR 90.44(1)(a)) and also because the appellant failed to perfect the appeals (CPR 90.44(1)(b)) after being given every opportunity to do so. By his conduct, Mr. Liu has demonstrated a flagrant and repeated unwillingness to abide by the orders of this Court. This includes a clear pattern of behaviour in not satisfying filing deadlines or directions with respect to content; not honouring costs orders; making entirely unfounded, abusive and contemptuous allegations against staff, lawyers and judges; finally culminating in his refusal to participate in proceedings he himself had initiated.
Clearly, Mr. Liu is an extreme example of a vexatious litigator and former employee. However, this case is a good example for how far people can go and how courts can assist clamping down on this kind of conduct.