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Case Law is a sample selection from the weekly summaries of notable unreported civil and criminal court decisions published in Law Times newspaper.

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Judgment debtor and director acted in manner that was oppressive

Respondents were directors of three corporate entities. Applicant leased equipment to one of corporations. Corporation defaulted on lease and refused to return equipment. Applicant obtained court order requiring equipment to be returned. Equipment was returned. Amount remained owing. Judgment was granted to applicant. Director of corporation was held in contempt for failing to answer outstanding undertakings. Requested information was produced. New company was incorporated to carry on business of judgment debtor corporation. Applicant sought remedy for oppression. Application was allowed. Director abandoned judgment debtor corporation and transferred operating business from judgment debtor corporation to new corporation controlled by director for purpose of escaping obligations to creditors. Judgment debtor and director acted in manner that was oppressive or unfairly prejudicial to interests of applicant. It was appropriate to grant relief against three companies given entanglement of companies’ affairs. Directors of three corporations were jointly and severally liable to pay judgment obtained by applicant against judgment debtor company.

Pitney Bowes of Canada Ltd. v. Belmonte (June 15, 2011, Ont. S.C.J., Murray J., File No. 3514/10) 203 A.C.W.S. (3d) 524 (10 pp.).

Civil Procedure


Determination of factually disputed issues required findings about credibility

Cousins owned common shares in group of closely-held family companies. Eight of eleven cousins decided to monetize value of interests in shopping centres which were two core assets of companies. Cousins entered share redemption transaction with companies. Non-selling cousins brought in equity investor First Capital who purchased 50% stake in shopping centre. Equity investor was public company. Selling cousins found out price paid by equity investor reflected much higher value attributed to shopping centre than that on which share redemption transactions had been negotiated. Selling cousins brought action against non-selling cousins, family companies’ lawyers and accountants, and public company. Ogilvy Renault was corporate counsel to Leikin Group of companies. GGFL was accounting firm. Motion for summary judgment brought by First Capital was allowed. Motions for summary judgment brought by non-selling cousins, Ogilvy Renault defendants and Accounting defendants were dismissed. Evidence disclosed no basis for claim against First Capital. First Capital did not make offer to purchase interest until after shareholders executed letter of intent. First Capital made offer to purchase interest after RBC completed reviews of bids. There was no genuine issue for trial in respect of claim against First Capital. Claim against non-selling shareholders and Leikin Group were for damages for breach of fiduciary duty, oppression, breach of confidence, misuse of confidential information and unjust enrichment. Determination of factually disputed issues required findings about credibility. Non-selling shareholders and Leikin Group did not show there was no genuine issue requiring trial and summary judgment was not granted to them. Ogilvy Renault defendants did not show there was no genuine issue for trial. Court wished to hear viva voce evidence from individual before making final findings about individual’s credibility. Accounting defendants did not show there was no genuine issue for trial. Court needed to hear further argument about nature and scope of GGFL retainer.

Harris v. Leikin Group Inc.
(June 13, 2011, Ont. S.C.J., Brown J., File No. 08-CL-7482) 203 A.C.W.S. (3d) 500 (131 pp.).



Balance of convenience was in favour of completing inquest

Application to stay inquest pending determination of judicial review of decision by coroner refusing to expand scope of inquest or to grant leave for certain witnesses to be called. Mother and her two children died in fire in their home. Apartment that deceased lived in was owned and operated by community housing corporation. Fire was determined to have been caused by children who were playing with lighter. Mother was asleep at time. Mother’s body was found to have high blood alcohol content, and it was determined that she had consumed both cocaine and marijuana at earlier time. Provincial Advocate and deceased’s family’s application to expand scope of inquest to examine services provided to family was dismissed. Provincial Advocate’s request to call certain witnesses was refused. Motion dismissed. Test for stay was not met. Judicial reviews did not raise serious issue. No irreparable harm would result if stay was denied. Balance of convenience was in favour of completing inquest.

Ontario (Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth) v. Ontario (Coroner)
(June 3, 2011, Ont. S.C.J. (Div. Ct.), Lederer J., File No. 255/11; 257/11) 203 A.C.W.S. (3d) 64 (13 pp.).

Civil Procedure


Information sought only relevant to merits of claim, not to certification motion

Motion by plaintiff for disclosure of information on motion for certification of proposed class under Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (Ont.). Plaintiff commenced action against city for various relief because on-street parking machines use by city allegedly malfunctioned during winter ice storms. Parking machines were owned by corporation owned by city. Plaintiff sought production of information from manufacturer and corporation. Motion dismissed. Information sought was not relevant to certification motion. Information sought was only relevant to merits of claim.

Arenson v. Toronto (City) (May 31, 2011, Ont. S.C.J., Perell J., File No. 08-CV-348329CP) 203 A.C.W.S. (3d) 16 (5 pp.).
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