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. Hall v Stewart, 2019 ABCA 98

[19] The competing policy objectives of tort law and corporate law must be reconciled in context. One important factor is the ready availability of insurance for property damage and personal injury. One obvious source of personal injury insurance is the workers’ compensation system itself. However, even if a corporation does not elect to purchase director’s insurance within the workers’ compensation system, general commercial liability insurance coverage is widely available for personal injury and property damage. In assessing whether a corporate representative should be exposed to personal liability for corporate torts, it must be acknowledged that the underlying risk can readily be managed and diverted through the purchase of appropriate insurance. Balanced against this factor is the reality that mere employees (unlike directors like the respondent) have little control over corporate decisions to insure. Whether the respondent actually purchased commercial general liability insurance is not the point; the point is that such insurance was available to him, and if he did not purchase it he must have elected to assume the underlying risk himself. He could not, by his decision, seek to pass the risk of recovery of personal injury damages onto injured claimants like the appellants.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Morrison, 2019 SCC 15

[1] In today’s information age, Canadian life is increasingly playing out in the digital realm. The Internet, social media, and sophisticated mobile devices — now fixtures in our everyday lives — have transformed the way in which we live, work, and interact with one another. This opens up a world of new opportunities and allows us to connect instantly with friends and family across the world, whenever and wherever we want, and at relatively little cost.

[2] But the Internet revolution — and the Internet itself — has a darker side. Increasingly, sexual predators are using electronic means to prey upon one of the most vulnerable groups within Canadian society: our children. Access to the Internet among Canadian children is now almost universal, and many are continuously connected, whether through a computer, a smartphone, or another device. This has led to the new and distressing phenomenon of predators lurking in cyberspace, cloaked in anonymity, using online communications as a tool for meeting and grooming children with a view to sexually exploiting them.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Barnes v. Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, 2019 ONSC 1782

[24] The issues in this case are moot. The outcome of the issue argued by the parties does not affect them. Apart from the waste of parties’ and judicial time and resources, the case is not fit for decision-making. The intervenor argues that the amended regulation interferes with the way people arrange their affairs and affects their choice of personal caregiver. They argue that there are grave injustices being committed. These are important issues. But resolution of the issues turn on facts. Deciding if the retrospective application of the new regulation works a grave injustice, or is arbitrary, or if it affects someone so unfairly so as to outweigh its beneficent purpose, are factual inquiries. The necessary facts do not arise in this case. As noted above, there is no injustice in this case as the amendment does not impact the applicant even if it applies to her retrospectively.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec c. D.B., 2019 QCCA 459

[30] Or, le jugement entrepris n’est pas conforme à ce cadre d’analyse. Il n’accorde d’attention qu’aux allégations de la demande introductive d’instance, sans s’arrêter aux pièces invoquées à leur soutien et, notamment, à la décision prononcée par le TAT en avril 2017. Le juge, certes, mentionne celle-ci[22], mais sans l’examiner ni la considérer. Cette décision prononcée par une instance qui avait toute compétence sur la plainte dont elle était saisie (celle de juillet 2016[23]) comporte pourtant des déterminations factuelles qui ne pouvaient être ignorées et contredisaient à l’évidence les prétentions de l’intimé. Le juge ne s’intéresse pas davantage aux décisions arbitrales qui lui ont été remises (pièces P-1 et P-2, auxquelles renvoient respectivement les paragr. 17 et 18 de la demande introductive d’instance). Il néglige également la plainte que l’intimé a faite contre l’appelant en août 2015[24], plainte dont son jugement ne fait aucunement état bien qu’elle ait été déposée en preuve devant lui.

(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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