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Archive for ‘Case Comment’

“Brian Sinclair Did Not Have to Die”

Brian Lloyd Sinclair died in September 2008 in the emergency department waiting room of Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre at the age of 45. He was pronounced dead in the early hours of September 21, 2008 after he had spent some 34 hours in the emergency room awaiting attention for what was initially a relatively minor health concern.

Brian Sinclair was an Aboriginal man who lived his early years on the Fort Alexander First Nation and went on to live in Powerview, Manitoba and ultimately, in Winnipeg. He faced a number of health challenges and as well as some cognitive impairment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Plaintiff Nearly Loses $8,000 Because She Went to Trial Too Fast

In an unusual case, a plaintiff nearly lost out on $8,000 in damages simply because she got to trial too fast.

The plaintiff’s employment with the defendant was terminated due to downsizing after 14 years of service.

She was paid approximately four months compensation in lieu of reasonable notice. She felt like it was not enough and sued the company for 22 months of compensation.

Justice Pollak agreed with the plaintiff that four months was not sufficient compensation and awarded the plaintiff twelve months of compensation.

However, at the time that the case was tried it had only been . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Refusal to Cooperate in Accommodation Process Prevented Reinstatement

Employees must participate in their employer’s accommodation process, even where that process has not produced satisfactory results. In the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal case of Perera v. St. Albert Day Care Society, Theresa Perera found this out the hard way when, due to a disabling injury, she refused to perform the work she was assigned and her employer terminated her for insubordination. However, the tribunal found Perera’s injury was a factor in the termination, and therefore the termination was discriminatory. Nonetheless, the insubordination made reinstatement impossible
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Inducement of High-Level Employee May Contribute to a Long Notice Period Award

In Rodgers v. CEVA, although the employee worked with the employer for less than three years, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that the terminated employee should be awarded damages for wrongful dismissal totalling $345,985 representing 14 months' reasonable notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Buying a House? Better Get a Home Inspection

A recent decision  provides another reminder of why prudent homebuyers should always insist on a home inspection.

The buyers agreed to purchase the property without making the sale conditional on a home inspection. However, the contract did include the right for the buyers to have two more viewings prior to closing.

During one of those viewings the buyers brought a family member with them who had experience in the construction industry to function as a home inspector. During the visit the family member, based on what he saw and was told from the seller and her partner, wondered whether there . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Pregnancy and Parental Leave Top-Ups Are Separate and Distinct

It is discriminatory for employers to deny parental supplemental employment benefits (top-ups) to birth mothers because they receive pregnancy benefits. So said the Supreme Court of Canada in its unanimous oral decision from the bench on November 12, 2014, agreeing with the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Rejected Romantic Advance Led to Reprisal

Hank Peelle, the owner of Peelle Company Ltd., deluded himself into believing the company’s financial controller, Christine Horner, had a romantic interest in him, despite his 25-year marriage and her long-term relationship. When he thought the time was right, he tried to kiss her and she rebuffed him. Despite some genuine efforts to work it out, Peelle treated Horner differently and the relationship deteriorated. She resigned, making a claim of sexual harassment and reprisal against the employer.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Real Estate Agent Loses $120,000 Commission for Not Sending Simple Email or Letter

The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a trial decision costing a commercial real estate agent over $100,000 all because the agent failed to send a simple email or letter.

The facts of the case are relatively straight forward.

The vendor signed a listing agreement with Ariston Realty Corp. (“Ariston”). The listing agreement contained a holdover clause which provided that the vendor would pay Ariston a commission of 5% of the sale price in the event that the property was sold within six months after the expiry of the listing agreement to any party to whom Ariston introduced the property . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Superior Court Overturns Result of Youth Soccer Match

In an unusual case, Justice Nordheimer of the Superior Court of Justice has overturned the result of a youth soccer match.

The Cobras defeated the Strikers 2 – 1 in the semi-final match of the Ontario Cup in the Under 16 Boys Tier 1 Division.

After the match, the Strikers alleged that the Cobras had improperly used six players as “call-ups”. The Ontario Soccer Association (“OSA”) sent notice of the Protest to the Cobras.

A few days later the Cobras received another email from the OSA raising a new issue regarding the semi-final match. In particular, the OSA was . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Should Self-Represented Litigants Be Entitled to Costs?

A recent family law decision applied the existing legal principles relating to the awarding of legal costs to self-represented litigants. These principles were first set out by the Court of Appeal over 15 years ago.

In short:

– a self-represented litigant does not have an automatic right to costs;

– the matter remains fully within the discretion of the trial judge;

– to be considered eligible for costs, the self-represented litigant must demonstrate that they devoted time and effort to do work ordinarily done by a lawyer retained to conduct the litigation and in doing so incurred an opportunity cost . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Substantive Law