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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. Jacobs v. McElhanney Land Surveys Ltd., 2019 ABCA 220

[86] To determine whether there is a significant advance – important or notable progress – a court must assess at the start and end points of the applicable period the degree to which the factual and legal issues dividing the parties have been identified and the progress made in ascertaining the relevant facts and law that will affect the ultimate resolution of the action.[99] Has anything that happened in the applicable period increased by a measurable degree the likelihood either the parties or a court would have sufficient information – usually a better idea of the facts that can be proven – and be in a better position to rationally assess the merits of the parties’ positions and either settle or adjudicate the action?[100] Are the parties at the end of the applicable period much closer to resolution than they were at the start date?[101]

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Drummond v. Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, 2019 ONCA 447

[24] If the evidence on information and belief in an affidavit goes to a fundamental contested aspect of the summary judgment motion, the motion judge should first determine whether the evidence would be admissible under the rules governing admissibility at trial. If the evidence meets those criteria, it is admissible on the motion. If the evidence does not meet the criteria for admissibility at trial, the onus should fall on the party proffering the evidence to justify some expansion of the rules governing admissibility in the context of the motion. For example, there may be cases in which an affidavit complies with r. 20.02(1) and it can be said that the opposing party had a fair chance to challenge the hearsay evidence, even though the evidence might not qualify as admissible hearsay.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Ariss v. NORR Limited Architects & Engineers, 2019 ONCA 449

[48] It is well-established that a dismissed employee must mitigate or minimize any damages arising out of the wrongful dismissal by making reasonable efforts to secure alternate, comparable employment: Red Deer College v. Michaels, 1975 CanLII 15 (SCC), [1976] 2 S.C.R. 324, at p. 331. However, it is equally clear that the employer bears the burden of proving the employee’s failure to mitigate; and that this burden is not light: Michaels, at p. 332. The mitigation inquiry is fact-driven and considers all the relevant circumstances. The question is whether the employee has made reasonable efforts in the circumstances to find comparable employment: Michaels, at pp. 331-32.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Imperial Tobacco Canada ltée c. Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé, 2019 QCCA 358

[658] En conclusion de ce chapitre et à l’instar du juge de première instance, la Cour conclut que, pendant toute la période litigieuse, les appelantes ont failli au devoir de renseigner les usagers et futurs usagers des dangers et risques de la cigarette. Elles sont donc, a priori, responsables du préjudice que cause chez les membres du groupe la matérialisation de ce défaut de sécurité du bien qu’elles ont fabriqué. N’ayant pas réussi à prouver que les membres des groupes, aux dates pertinentes, connaissaient ce défaut ou étaient en mesure de le connaître ou de prévoir le préjudice, elles ne peuvent faire valoir le moyen d’exonération de l’article 1473 al. 1 C.c.Q., moyen que reconnaissait le droit antérieur et qui trouve son équivalent dans les règles de l’article 53 L.p.c.

[659] Il reste maintenant à voir si, comme elles le prétendent, elles peuvent néanmoins repousser cette responsabilité en établissant une faille au chapitre de la causalité.

(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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