Steinberg v. Adderley, 2024 ONCA 167

The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident in October 2011. He took out five litigation loans from BridgePoint totaling $65,500. The loans had compound interest rates ranging from 20% to 24%. The plaintiff settled his accident benefits claim for $1.25 million. His tort action was dismissed due to contempt of an order to attend medical assessments. BridgePoint sought $312,936.18 from the plaintiff on the loans and accrued interest. The motions judge reduced the interest amount based on delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario Court of Appeal reversed the motion judge’s decision and held that BridgePoint was entitled to the full amount it sought for principal and interest. It reasoned that once the motion judge found that the loan transactions were not unconscionable there was no basis to vary the interest owing. Litigation delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic could not be an independent basis to reduce the interest owing under loan agreements that the motion judge had found to be contractually sound. The loan agreements called for interest to continue until the loans were paid and to allow the pandemic to reduce a contractual interest would be to rewrite the agreements.

Handley Estate v. DTE Industries Limited, 2018 ONCA 324

The Plaintiff entered into litigation agreements with the Defendant, H&M Combustion Services Ltd., relating to an oil spill. In the 2011 agreement, H&M agreed to defend the action and commence a third party claim, which the Plaintiff would fund. In the 2016 agreement, H&M assigned all of its interest in the lawsuit to the Plaintiff, who indemnified H&M from any exposure in the litigation. Neither party disclosed these agreements to the other parties immediately upon their execution. Upon their disclosure, another Defendant moved to stay the action on the basis that there was a failure to comply with the requirement of immediate disclosure. The motion judge held that the agreements should have been disclosed, but refused to stay the action on the basis that there was no prejudice. On appeal, the decision was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal on the basis that the failure to disclose the agreements resulted in a mandatory stay of the claim of the non-disclosing party.