Morris v Prince, 2023 ONSC 3922

This action arises from an accident between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. The plaintiff was crossing a crosswalk and was struck by a turning vehicle. The driver was charged under the Highway Traffic Act for making an unsafe turn. He pleaded guilty and was convicted of the charge. He conceded his negligence in the context of this personal injury action. The plaintiff and defendant driver argued that the City was negligent in maintaining an appropriate level of lighting. Following a trial, Justice Mitchell dismissed the action as against the City, holding that the intersection and the lighting were in a reasonable state of repair. Although two luminaires were not working, there was sufficient illumination from all other sources of light to have enabled an ordinary driver exercising reasonable care to detect the plaintiff while he was standing at the intersection and while he traversed the crosswalk. The driver’s HTA conviction required an admission that the driver did not check to ensure his turn was safe before her turned. The driver’s windows were tinted and he only saw the plaintiff out of the front window after he started to turn.

The plaintiff was awarded damages in excess of $2 million. He was 42 years old at the time of the accident and worked at TD Bank in IT services. He suffered a serious brain injury and was in a medically induced coma for a few days after the accident. He had not returned to work at any point since the 2015 accident. The damages awarded were:

  • General Damages: $330,000 plus interest
  • Special Damages: $58,134.71 (agreed upon)
  • Past Income Loss: $16,800 (net)
  • Future Income Loss: $775,520
  • Future Care Costs: $773,191 (following AB decuction)
  • FLA Damages to Partner: $70,000 plus interest
  • FLA Damages to Mother: $10,000 (net) plus interest
  • FLA Damages to Sister: $5,000 (net) plus interest

Justice Mitchell also rejected the argument that the plaintiff’s settlement of the AB claim was improvident. He settled for $840,000, leaving $700,000 in attendant care benefits. Justice Mitchell did not find any evidence that the plaintiff acted with malicious intent or bad faith.

Rowe v. 1225064 Ontario Limited, 2022 ONSC 5036

The defendant winter maintenance contractor moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s action on the basis of a limitations defence. The plaintiff slipped and fell in a parking lot at a No Frills. She sued the property owner within the 2 year limitation period, but issued the action against the winter maintenance contractor 2 years and 9 months after the incident. Justice Centa granted summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff’s action against the winter maintenance contractor. Justice Centa was critical of the plaintiff for failing to provide her own evidence, and instead submitting an affidavit from a law clerk at her lawyer’s firm. Justice Centa also reasoned that a person in the plaintiff’s position ought to have learned of the winter maintenance contractor’s existence and identity within 6 months of the incident. The failure by the plaintiff and her counsel to take reasonable steps to learn of the contractor until after the 2 year limitation period had expired did not toll the limitation period.

Lucarelli v. Morrison, 2021 ONSC 5579

The plaintiffs’ house burned down while it was being built in 2012. They made a claim to their insurer under their home owners’ policy, which settled in 2013 for an amount less than the policy limit. They were allegedly advised by their insurer at the settlement meeting that they could sue their broker for negligence to recover further amounts. They signed a final release at that time. On the two year anniversary of the claim settlement, the plaintiffs commenced this action against their insurer and its outside lawyers, for negligent misrepresentation they alleged occurred during the settlement meeting. Their insurer brought a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the final release was a complete bar to the action and that the two-year limitation period started on the day of the fire and therefore the claim was not brought in time. Justice Lococo dismissed the motion, holding that there were triable issues that could not be decided on summary judgment. Regarding the release, he held that the insurer ought to have put forth affidavit evidence from each claims advisor that was present at the subject settlement meeting. Regarding the limitation period, he held that the claim was for negligent misrepresentation by the insurer at the settlement meeting, not the fire, and that the claim was brought within two years of that action arising.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Canada Company v. Bryan, 2018 ONSC 5203

The Plaintiff brought a summary judgment motion seeking payment for repair costs of a rented vehicle that was damaged in an accident while it was being rented by the Defendant. The Defendant attempted to rely on the damage waiver in the rental car contract on the basis that the rental vehicle was allegedly stolen during the rental period. The rental agreement also provided that the damage waiver was invalidated in certain circumstances (e.g. where the renter failed to return the original ignition key or ensure that the vehicle ignitiation was turned off at the time of the theft). Justice McArthur found that the Defendant had failed to prove that he returned the original ignition key and did not ensure that the vehicle was turned off at the time of the theft. As such, summary judgment was granted to the Plaintiff.

Wallbridge v. Brunning, 2018 ONCA 363

In this case, a lawyer, Brunning, allegedly defamed another lawyer, Wallbridge. Brunning was practicing “in association” with the Williams law firm. The Williams firm brought a summary judgment motion to dismiss the claim, on the basis that it was not vicariously liable for Brunning’s alleged defamation. The motion court granted the motion. On appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal reversed on the basis that this was a novel and important area of law and that it ought to be decided at trial on a full record.

Turcotte v. Lewis, 2018 ONCA 359

The Defendant tavern had a bus service that picked up, and later dropped off, cottage country patrons. On the return voyage, an argument broke out and the security guard on the bus called the police and asked for the police to meet the bus at the drop-off spot. When the bus arrived at the drop-off location, the police were not there. The driver and security guard let the Plaintiff off the bus first so that he could escape, but the Plaintiff did not leave. The Plaintiff was subsequently beaten and sustained a serious head injury. The motion judge granted the Defendants’ summary judgment motion. The Ontario Court of Appeal found that the motion judge had incorrectly applied the standard of care analysis, set the decision aside, and ordered the matter to trial.

Rush v. De Ruiter, 2018 ONSC 1210

The Plaintiff alleged injuries as a result of obtaining laser treatment at a clinic. The Defendants sought summary judgment in relation to the negligence claim on the basis of a signed consent/release. They also sought summary judgment in relation to the breach of contract and vicarious liability claims. Justice Allen denied the motion in relation to negligence on the basis that the signed release was not equivalent to a waiver of liability for negligent treatment. Justice Allen granted summary judgment in relation to the breach of contract claim on the basis that the Plaintiff had not provided expert evidence to support the claim. The motion with respect to vicarious liability was denied as Justice Allen felt that there were genuine factual issues requiring a trial.

Osmond v. Watkins et al., 2017 ONSC 5729

The Plaintiff was a tradesman and fell while performing work on the roof of the Defendants’ home. The Defendants brought a motion for summary judgment. Justice Broad granted the motion on the basis that a tradesman is presumed to know how to perform roofing work and to be aware of the necessary safety equipment required to perform that work. Justice Broad went on to state that even if there was evidence that the Plaintiff was inexperienced in roofing work, and the Defendants were aware of this, it did not require the Defendants to provide safety equipment or to supervise the Plaintiff to ensure that he used it.

Diao v. Zhao, 2017 ONSC 5511

In this case, the Plaintiff sued the Defendant after he was pushed in a parking lot and broke some teeth. The Plaintiff brought a motion for summary judgment and delivered an affidavit which included correspondence between his father and the Defendant’s father. In the correspondence, the Defendant’s father apologized for the injury. The Plaintiff took the position that the apology was an admission of liability. Pursuant to the Apology Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c.3, Justice Charney found that the portions of the affidavit relying on the apology were inadmissable and could not be taken into account in determining liability.

Hamilton v. Ontario Corporation #2000533 o/a Toronto Community Housing Corporation, 2017 ONSC 5467

The Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on vinyl flooring in Toronto Community Housing that was installed in the hallway in front of her apartment. She had resided at this apartment for nine years. On a summary judgment motion, Justice Sanfilippo dismissed the Plaintiff’s claim due to a lack of objective evidence of any unsafe condition that could be found to have caused the Plaintiff’s slip and fall.