Court Of Appeal Summaries (December 16 – December 20, 2019)

In Sosnowski v. MacEwen Petroleum Inc., the Court appears to have unconvincingly dialed back how far the "appropriate means" test can go to extend the limitation period. In this case, the employee waited until he was acquitted of theft (which took six years, including appeals) before suing for wrongful dismissal (he had been fired for cause because of the alleged theft). I would have thought that on the basis of Winmill v. Woodstock (Police Services Board), 2017 ONCA 962, the limitation period would have been delayed until the acquittal. However, the Court did not see it that way, and distinguishedWinmillon the basis that the criminal charge of assault by the plaintiff against the police in that case was the other side of the same coin as the plaintiff's civil claim against the police for battery. In addition, the Court felt that it was important that the police's conduct was at issue in Winmill, while it was not in this case. With all due respect to the Court, I fail to see how the theft conviction was not the other side of the same coin to whether the plaintiff had been terminated for cause. If there is no theft, there is no cause. There also appears to be no principled basis to restrict the application of Winmillto situations where police conduct is in question. It is arguable that this decision and Winmillare in conflict, and that the Supreme Court ought to settle the debate of how far the "appropriate means" test should go.

In Hilson v. 1336365 Alberta Ltd., the Court confirmed that the limitation period to sue on guarantees of mortgage debts is ten years, not two years, even where the guarantees are "stand-alone" and not contained in the mortgage covenant actually registered on title.

Other topics covered this week included more wrongful dismissal.

Table of Contents

Civil Decisions

O'Reilly v. IMAX Corporation, 2019 ONCA 994

Keywords: Contracts, Interpretation, Employment, Wrongful Dismissal, Stock Option Plans, Ledcor Construction Ltd. v Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co., 2016 SCC 37, Sylvester v. British Columbia, [1997] 2 SCR 315, Kieran v Ingram Micro Inc.(2004), 189 O.A.C. 58

Rossman v. Canadian Solar Inc., 2019 ONCA 992

Keywords: Contracts, Interpretation, Employment, Wrongful Dismissal, Termination Clauses, Enforceability, Employment Standards Act, 2000, SO 2000, c 41, ss. 1(1), 5(1) and 57, Machtinger v. Hoj Industries Ltd., [1992] 1 SCR 986, Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicholls Inc., 2019 ONCA 679, Amberber v. IBM Canada Ltd., 2018 ONCA 571, Garreton v. Complete Innovations Inc., 2016 ONSC 1178, Dumbrell v. Regional Group of Companies Inc., 2007 ONCA 59

Hilson v. 1336365 Alberta Ltd., 2019 ONCA 1000

Keywords: Contracts, Real Property, Mortgages, Guarantees, Limitation Periods, Statutory Interpretation, Damages, Principle against Double Recovery, Real Property Limitations...

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