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. Irving Paper Ltd. v Atofina Chemicals, 2015 ONSC 6662

[1] This is an alleged price fixing case that was certified five years ago. The plaintiffs move for an order amending the class definition to shorten the class period to between November 1, 1998 to December 31, 2003 and to exclude persons who purchased products containing hydrogen peroxide or products using hydrogen peroxide (primarily indirect purchasers).


[27] I am satisfied that the class definition should be amended as the plaintiff requests for several reasons. First, I agree that the trilogy conclusively established that the passing on defence is not available. Therefore, the rationale (or a part of it) for including indirect purchasers is eliminated. Second, the emphasis in Sun-Rype on the requirement for self-identification caused counsel to re-evaluate their case, notwithstanding the supportive opinion of their expert. Clearly, there was some doubt about how to interpret the self-identification element when one remembers that the action was certified at first instance. An appeal was allowed on other grounds. I note as well, the dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Niam v Silverberg, 2015 ABQB 682

[1] The Applicant (…) challenges the enforceability of a contingency fee agreement she entered into with her solicitor in defending a forfeiture application made by the Crown. For the reasons that follow, I find the contingency agreement valid and enforceable.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Puri Consulting Limited v. Kim Orr Barristers PC, 2015 ONCA 727

[1] At issue in this appeal is the interpretation of an accepted offer to settle. In particular, did the offer to accept “$50,000 plus HST in full and complete satisfaction of the [appellant’s] claim” include the appellant’s claim for costs? Or did silence in the offer, on the matter of costs, mean that r. 49.07(5)(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure applied?

[2] The motion judge found that the offer was unambiguous. She held that the words “full and complete satisfaction” meant that the offer was inclusive of costs, and that although the respondent waited several months before accepting the offer on the eve of trial, r. 49.07(5)(b) did not apply.

[3] For the reasons that follow, I disagree. Briefly, the motion judge made a reversible error by taking a literal approach to the offer and acceptance and failing to consider the factual matrix when interpreting the concluded agreement. The factual matrix in this case consisted of the rule 49 context in which the parties were operating, and the timing of the offer and its acceptance in their litigation.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Allaire c. Canada (Procureur général), 2015 QCCS 5005

[1] Par requêtes en irrecevabilité, les défendeurs demandent le rejet d’une action en dommages intentée par le demandeur alors qu’il n’est pas libéré de sa faillite et qu’il réclame pour des dettes fiscales non légalement contestables. Finalement, pour réussir son recours, le demandeur requiert de la Cour de prononcer la nullité d’une transaction à laquelle il aurait consenti, ce que les défendeurs contestent d’entrée de jeu.


[103] Les dommages réclamés sont ni plus ni moins que les dettes fiscales que le demandeur a payées au fil du temps aux autorités fiscales, comme tout citoyen est normalement appelé à payer à l’État. Alors qu’il fait défaut de les contester en temps et lieu, comme c’est le droit de tout citoyen, le demandeur réclame maintenant leur remboursement. Rembourser au demandeur des dettes fiscales nécessiterait du Tribunal de devoir déduire ce qu’il doit réellement, ce qui n’est pas le rôle de la Cour supérieure après tant d’années de contestations entre ce contribuable et l’État. Cette étrange réclamation s’inscrit dans la foulée du comportement abusif et odieux du demandeur qui, comme au jeu du chat et de la souris, a tenté de négocier à bon compte son dû avec l’État en 2005.

[104] Le comportement du demandeur démontre une approche abusive des ressources judiciaires. Il n’a pas démontré au Tribunal que son recours n’est pas abusif et se justifie en droit.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* 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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