Canadian Appeals Monitor Information and Commentary on Upcoming and Recent Appeal Court Decisions

Tag Archives: breach of contract

What tangled webs we weave: The BCCA provides guidance on the tort of deceit and exclusion of liability clauses

Posted in Construction and Real Estate, Contracts, Torts

The British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision in Roy v Kretschmer, 2014 BCCA 429 provides guidance on the element of reliance in the tort of deceit. It also holds that a contractual clause limiting liability is unenforceable even where the breaching party did not commit a criminal act or egregious fraud.

This decision is of interest to Canadian businesses because it suggests that where a contract has been breached, the breaching party can be sued in tort for hiding the circumstances of the breach if the non-breaching party relies on the breaching party’s fraudulent silence or misrepresentations. Further, in … Continue Reading

The Second Opinion: Appellate Court Applies Brakes to “Rolling” Limitation Periods

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Posted in The Second Opinion

Some causes of action are “continuing” in nature.  Historically, torts such as trespass or nuisance have in some instances fallen into this category.  More recently, Canadian courts have recognized that breaches of contract can also be continuing in nature, particularly in cases where the agreement calls for periodic payments that are dishonored.  In essence, Canadian Courts have generally held that the failure to honor each of the scheduled periodic payments gives rise to a discrete, independent cause of action with its own limitation period.

The practical result of this approach has been that even if a claim for breach of … Continue Reading

The Second Opinion: Appeal Court Addresses Thorny Limitation Period Issues Regarding Anticipatory Breaches of Contract

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Posted in The Second Opinion

When does the limitation period begin to run for an anticipatory breach of contract?  Does the limitation period commence as soon as the guilty party indicates that it will breach a future obligation?  Or can the innocent party safely assume that that the limitation period does not run until the time comes for the performance of the contract and the guilty party then in fact fails to perform its obligation?  A recent decision by the Ontario of Court of Appeal brings much needed clarity to this important issue.… Continue Reading

Lost in Contractual Interpretation: No Agreement at ABCA on Interpretation of Multiple Contracts Within a Single Transaction

Posted in Contracts, Corporate Law, Labour and Employment

In a very recent decision of the ABCA, Benfield Corporate Risk Canada Limited v. Beaufort International Insurance Inc, 2013 ABCA 200, the Court attempted to address a host of interesting contract issues, some with potentially wide implication, such as how to interpret multiple contracts within a single transaction, including the effect of entire agreement clauses and the ability to benefit from a breach of one of the related contracts. Also mentioned are general duties of good faith, the role of fairness and implying terms. However, unique circumstances and a lack of agreement in the Court leaves us, unfortunately, without

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Apportioning Liability for a Single Loss Caused By Separate Breaches of Contract

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Torts

Contributory negligence legislation allows liability to be apportioned between tortfeasors – but what about defendants who are severally liable for a single loss caused by independent breaches of contract? In Petersen Pontiac Buick GMC (Alta.) Ltd. v. Campbell, 2013 ABCA 251, counsel for both parties could find no authority on the issue of apportioning liability between defendants when “a plaintiff suffers the same loss, caused by a breach of contract by one party and a breach of a different contract and negligence by another.” The Alberta Court of Appeal helped fill this gap by holding that the common

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Court of Appeal Accepts Ontario Jurisdiction Despite Forum Selection Clause for Germany

Posted in Case Comments, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Torts

During the spring of 2012, the Canadian Appeals Monitor posted a five-part series on the Supreme Court’s judgments in Van BredaBlack, and Éditions Écosociété (the “Van Breda Trilogy”). The Van Breda Trilogy was the Supreme Court’s long anticipated reformulation of the common law principles of private international law.

Since the release of the Van Breda Trilogy, courts of first instance have applied the controlling test in Van Breda without much interference from appeal courts. However, on May 31, 2013 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its judgment in 2249659 Ontario Ltd. v. Sparkasse Siegen, overturning … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (07/12/2012)

Posted in Aboriginal, Bankruptcy and Debt, Corporate Law, Environmental, Labour and Employment, Securities, This Week at the SCC

Cases Decided

The Supreme Court of Canada released one decision this week of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Newfoundland and Labrador v. AbitibiBowater Inc., 2012 SCC 67, the majority of the Court held that environmental protection orders issued under provincial legislation, which required an insolvent company to undertake remediation measures but which were not expressed in monetary terms, nonetheless amounted to “claims” under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA“) that could be stayed and subject to a claims procedure order in the context of CCAA proceedings.  The Court observed that not all environmental protection orders will … Continue Reading

A Doctrine of Mitigation in the Supreme Court of Canada: A Triumph of Theory Over Commercial Reality

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

A troubling decision

It is troubling when contract law fails to accord with commercial reality. It is troubling when a commercial case ignores the underlying economic context. In Southcott Estates Inc. v. Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Supreme Court of Canada applied theoretically pure models of contract and corporate law to conclude that the victim of a breach of contract had failed to mitigate its damages. The victim of the breach was therefore denied its damages, which had been assessed at trial at $1.9 million. But in applying pure theory, Southcott ignored commercial reality and the underlying economic … Continue Reading

Can the Queen Be Taken at Her Word? Federal Court of Appeal Answers in Canada v. South Yukon Forest Corporation

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Construction and Real Estate, Contracts, Energy, Torts

The Federal Court of Appeal has clarified when the federal Crown will be held responsible for representations made by its officers. In issuing its decision, the Court opted for a narrow interpretation of the Crown’s liability and reiterated that parties that rely on the Crown’s representations have the responsibility to conduct their own due diligence.

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