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Motor and Marine Carrier Cargo Claims
by Stephen Barbier
June 06, 2011

Shipment of goods from one place to another involves complex networks of players, from shippers to cargo carriers, load brokers to stevedores, consignors to freight intermediaries, and so on. Given the volume and value of goods being shipped daily across the country and the world, international and domestic laws have been developed in order to ensure that the interests of the various parties are protected in the event that the goods are damaged while in transit.

Product Liability: Jurisdictional Issues In Canada
May 31, 2011

The proliferation of international trade and commerce has led to increasingly complex product liability litigation with potential parties located across all parts of the globe. Simply stated, a person could be hurt in Ontario by a product designed in Germany, sold in Pennsylvania, and assembled in India with parts manufactured in Japan. With each party in the chain of commerce a potential defendant, there are important jurisdictional issues which arise in the product liability context.

In cases of multi-jurisdiction litigation, three issues frequently arise...

Identifying and Addressing the Limitations of Waivers and Permission Forms in a School Setting
April 14, 2011

It is common practice for schools to offer enhancements to the curriculum in the form of field trips and extra curricular activities. These trips and activities may have certain risks associated with them depending on the activity. Examples of activities with risks associated are football, rugby, ski trips and climbing.

Two options to manage the risks associated with these types of activities are waivers and permission forms.

Suspending the Ability to Litigate
April 14, 2011

Difficult and tenacious litigants are individuals who are exceedingly dedicated and vindictive in their litigation. They are individuals who often have multiple actions against the same or different individuals or corporate entities, frequent appeals, actions against employees of corporations, actions that are obviously not going to succeed, frequent interlocutory motions and failing to pay costs. These individuals in many cases, are unrepresented or if represented, they may frequently change counsel. This type of litigant will become a source of frustration and for opposing counsel and they will increase the cost of the litigation. It is important for counsel to have a strategy to dispose of this type of claim expeditiously.

The Superior Court Expands Who is Considered a Child of the Marriage Under the Divorce Act With Respect to Child Support
April 04, 2011

Whether an adult child who has completed a post-secondary degree and contemplating a second post-secondary degree will be considered a child of the marriage under the Divorce Act and eligible for child support is one of the most highly contested issues with respect to child support in family law.

This issue essentially dictates when a parent's obligation to pay child support ends. 

The Modified Duty of Care for Ski Resorts and Recreational Landowners: A Case Note on Schneider v. St. Clair
April 04, 2011

In drafting the Occupiers’ Liability Act (“the Act)”, the Ontario Legislature balanced its concern for the safety of people entering a premises with the competing interest that occupiers be encouraged to allow for recreational use of their property.

Because of these opposed considerations, Section 4(4) of the Act provides for a lower standard of care where occupiers allow individuals to make recreational use of their premises.

Ski Resort Liability
by James Tomlinson
March 02, 2011

The inherent risks of active sports such as skiing give rise to a large number of personal injury claims each year. Managing the risk posed by such claims is a key concern of ski resorts. Ski resorts have developed a number of important and evolving legal strategies to limit their exposure to such claims. These strategies have evolved with the changes in the law over time and continue to grow with it. 

Spectator Liability in Canada: An Overview
by Alan S. Drimer
March 02, 2011

A spectator that becomes injured during the course of a sporting event will generally commence an action against the occupier of the facility where the sporting event was held. Occasionally, the action will include the individual participant, team, league, or others that may be appropriate in the circumstances.

In determining whether an occupier has in fact discharged its duty, the courts take into consideration the nature of the sporting event, any inherent risks, and whether the spectator can foresee those risks. The trier of fact may also rely on expert testimony to provide information on what the industry standard is for safety precautions in a given sport.

Sports Camp/Clinic Liability
by Martin Smith
March 02, 2011

In the context of sports camps, the risk for insureds lies in claims made against them in negligence. Specifically, insureds are at risk of patrons at a day camp making allegations that they failed to fulfill the duty of care owed to them to keep them safe while engaging in a potentially dangerous activity offering horseback riding.

Product Recall in Canada 2011
February 28, 2011

The Canadian chapter from the text entitled Product Recall has been updated for 2011.  The text is a comparative analysis of product recall legislation in 26 jurisdictions worldwide. Product liability law in Canada is governed by the common law in all provinces and territories except Quebec which is a civil law jurisdiction. While there are some differences in the legislation and case law across the common law jurisdictions, the law is fairly similar. The answers provided in this chapter are based on product liability law in the common law jurisdictions of Canada although some references to Quebec civil law are also included. 

Court holds there is no duty to defend when policy limits are exhausted
by Michael Kennedy
February 28, 2011

In Dominion of Canada v. Kingsway,1 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice addressed an insurer’s duty to defend in cases where an insured’s policy limits have been exhausted. The facts were such that a defendant’s policy limits of $200,000.00 were offered and accepted at mediation on the condition that a plaintiff with Family Protection coverage through Dominion could pursue her underinsured claim against her own insurer. Dominion would then receive an assignment of the judgment and could pursue the defendant personally for contribution.

Court voids claims waiver on basis of power imbalance between adjuster and plaintiff
by Michael Kennedy
February 28, 2011

In Jones v. Jenkins,1 an ING adjuster negotiated a settlement with a self-represented plaintiff. The plaintiff was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, but had not commenced an action against ING's insured, who was allegedly at fault. ING's adjuster directly corresponded with the plaintiff, requesting settlement proposals and making counter-proposals until a final agreement of $19,411.00 was reached and a release was signed. The plaintiff subsequently retained counsel and a Statement of Claim was issued. The defendant and his insurers argued that the signed release barred the proceeding.

New Canadian Legislation Alert - CCPSA
January 04, 2011

On December 14, 2010, the Parliament of Canada passed the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA).  Royal Assent, the last step required in the creation of new law, was granted on December 15, 2010.  It is anticipated that an accelerated implementation plan will be developed by the Federal Government in order to facilitate the CCPSA coming into force in the next few months. 

Opening Statements Should Be Persuasive Not Insulting
December 31, 2010

When crafting an opening statement for trial, the opening statement is an opportunity to present your case and evidence to the jury and not an opportunity to attack the other party or make argument.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the decision in Spittal v. Thomas, [2006] O.J. no. 1617, where Justice Glass considered a motion for the judge to instruct a jury to correct improper remarks by plaintiff’s counsel in an opening address.

Plaintiffs Cannot Bargain Away Their Insurer's Rights and Still Hope to Recover from their Insurer
November 30, 2010

During multiparty motor vehicle accident litigation, plaintiff’s counsel often claims tactical advantage against one defendant by threatening to settle with other defendant.  If the plaintiff is not careful, this type of settlement can prove improvident and will frustrate the plaintiff’s efforts at further recovery.