Analysis of Weir Jones and its Application in BF

Overview:

The Alberta Court of Appeal provides clarification of the test for summary judgment applications in Weir-Jones Technical Services Incorporated v Purolator Courier Ltd, 2019 ABCA 49 [“Weir”]. The Court of Appeal notes the rift that had emerged in case law while discussing the standard of proof that is required in a summary judgment application.[1] In particular, decisions of Can v Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, and Stefanyk v Sobeys Capital Incorporated, 2018 ABCA 125, demonstrate the divergence in the application of the standard of proof that is required for summary judgment.[2] The Court mentioned that “it is now possible to find a quote in the case law to support virtually any view of the test to be used in summary judgment”.

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Court dismisses statutory misrepresentation claim against credit union board in landmark decision

For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision that considered issues of statutory misrepresentation in an offering statement under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994[1] (Act). Polla v. Croatian (Toronto) Credit Union also provides extensive guidance on issues of directors’ and officers’ liability more generally. There is very limited jurisprudence in this area, and this landmark decision is expected to provide valuable guidance to boards and insurers on risk prevention. This insight provides a high-level overview of the decision.

Facts

The plaintiff, Ferdinando Polla (Polla), invested CA1 $5 million in the Croatian Credit Union (CCU) after the struggling credit union filed an offering statement in order to raise funds.

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Khalid v 2262351 Ontario Inc.: Third party discoverability grounded in reasonability

Introduction

In negligence-based actions, defendants routinely issue third party claims for contribution and indemnity to reduce their liability exposure. As a result, the plaintiff can commence a claim believing certain defendants to have caused the plaintiff’s loss, but, after successive third party claims, learn that several other persons might have contributed to the loss. To increase the prospect of recovery, the plaintiff often moves to add these third parties as defendants, long-after the impugned act or omission took place.

In these circumstances, third parties should consider whether to oppose a motion to be added as a defendant pursuant to section 21(1) of the Limitations Act, 2002:

21 (1) If a limitation period in respect of a claim against a person has expired, the claim shall not be pursued by adding the person as a party to any existing proceeding.

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Doctrine of unjust enrichment may deprive named beneficiaries of life insurance proceeds

Designated beneficiaries of a life insurance policy have traditionally been entitled to a high degree of certainty that they would be entitled to the policy proceeds upon the death of the insured. This certainty has been jeopardized in a recent Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision, Moore v Sweet, 2018 SCC 52.

The facts

Michelle Moore (“Michelle”) continued to pay the premiums of a life insurance policy on the death of her ex-husband (the “Policy”), Lawrence Moore (“Lawrence”), after the couple separated. This was in accordance with an oral agreement between Michelle and Lawrence. In exchange, Michelle would be entitled to the Policy proceeds upon Lawrence’s death.

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Covenants to insure can bar action against other named insureds

In a short decision, Jacobs v. Leboeuf Properties Inc., 2018 ONSC 4795, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed an Owner’s claim against a General Contractor on the basis that the Owner’s contractual obligation to obtain insurance for the project and include the General Contractor as named insured (the covenant to insure) relieved the General Contractor from liability for faulty workmanship.

The Owner alleged that the General Contractor negligently, and in breach of the contract between the parties, performed work that caused damage to project property. The Owner sought to recover from the General Contractor the cost to correct and complete the allegedly negligent work.

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When cyber fraud strikes: Delineating coverage if employees are duped

The growth and sophistication of modern fraud and cyber security attacks has necessitated adaptable countermeasures by for-profit and non-profit organizations alike.

Of these countermeasures, the emergence of niche cyber crime/fraud insurance (e.g. cyber liability insurance) has given credence to the ethos that such attacks are not a matter of “if” but “when”. [1] One of the benefits of these forms of insurance is anticipating the pernicious reality of the causes of cyberattacks: vulnerabilities may arise from factors internal to an organization, as much as threats external to it. However, such policies similar to all insurance policies are not without their limits.

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Apportionment of liability under the workers’ compensation scheme in Alberta

McIver v. McIntyre, 2018 ABCA 151 examined the apportionment of liability for damages between multiple defendants where at least one of them is statutorily immune from liability.

The facts

The Defendant, Carlyle McIntyre (McIntyre), took his vehicle into Calgary Propane and Automotive (Calgary Propane) for repairs. A Calgary Propane employee, Lewis Morgan (Morgan), took the vehicle out for a test drive and collided with a vehicle driven by Brent McIver (McIver), causing McIver injuries. Both Morgan and McIver were driving in the course of their employment, but at trial, Morgan’s negligence was found to have caused the collision.

McIver obtained benefits from the Workers’ Compensation scheme under the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act, RSA 2000, c W-15 (WCA), and the Workers’ Compensation Board (“WCB”) sued McIntyre on the basis that McIntyre was vicariously liable for McIver’s loss as owner of the vehicle under s.

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