E.B. v. Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (B.C.) et al., (2005) 217 B.C.A.C. 1 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 28, 2005
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2005), 217 B.C.A.C. 1 (SCC);2005 SCC 60;[2006] 3 WWR 1;48 BCLR (4th) 37;217 BCAC 1;258 DLR (4th) 385;[2005] 3 SCR 45;340 NR 202

E.B. v. Order of the Oblates (2005), 217 B.C.A.C. 1 (SCC);

    358 W.A.C. 1

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2005] B.C.A.C. TBEd. OC.043

E.B. (appellant) v. Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the Province of British Columbia (respondent) and Attorney General of Canada and Attorney General of British Columbia (intervenors)

(29890; 2005 SCC 60; 2005 CSC 60)

Indexed As: E.B. v. Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (B.C.) et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.

October 28, 2005.

Summary:

Between 1956 and 1965, the plaintiff was a student at a residential school operated by the defendant, a Roman Catholic religious order. The plaintiff alleged that he was sexually assaulted by a school employee and that the defendant was negligent and vicariously liable. The defendant filed third party proceedings against the Attorney General of Canada who, in turn, filed fourth party proceedings against the defendant and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Victoria.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a decision reported at [2001] B.C.T.C. 1783, allowed the action against the defendant on the basis of vicarious liability. The court awarded the plaintiff $150,000 for general damages, $80,000 for loss of past earning capacity, and $3,400 on account of future care costs. The defendant appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at 182 B.C.A.C. 288; 300 W.A.C. 288, allowed the appeal, holding that the trial judge erred in finding that the defendant was vicariously liable. The court remitted the matter to the trial court to deal with the issue of negligence. The court held that in light of its conclusion concerning vicarious liability, it was not necessary to consider the arguments concerning damages. The plaintiff appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Abella, J.A., dissenting, dismissed the appeal.

Master and Servant - Topic 3675

Liability of master for acts of servant - Torts - General - The plaintiff was a student at a residential school operated by the defendant - The plaintiff alleged that he was sexually assaulted by a school employee and that the defendant was vicariously liable - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the test to be applied in determining how far an employer's vicarious liability should extend - See paragraphs 24 to 33.

Master and Servant - Topic 3679

Liability of master for acts of servant - Torts - Acts in course of employment - [See Master and Servant - Topic 3675 ].

Master and Servant - Topic 3703

Liability of master for acts of servant - Torts - Wilful acts - Sexual abuse - [See Master and Servant - Topic 3675 ].

Master and Servant - Topic 3703

Liability of master for acts of servant - Torts - Wilful acts - Sexual abuse - The plaintiff was a student at a residential school operated by the defendant - The plaintiff alleged that he was sexually assaulted by Saxey, a school employee who resided at the school - Saxey was a baker - He also operated the school boat and performed general maintenance - The Court of Appeal overturned a finding that the defendant was vicariously liable for Saxey's actions because the "operational characteristics" of the school created a risk of child abuse - The trial judge erred in overemphasizing opportunity and in failing to sufficiently consider what were Saxey's general employment duties and responsibilities - There was no nexus between Saxey's general employment duties and the assaults upon the plaintiff - No authority had been conferred on Saxey to direct, care for or discipline the pupils - The plaintiff appealed - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal - The operational characteristics of the enterprise which preoccupied the trial judge were not enough to attract vicarious liability - The necessary "strong connection" between the particulars of Saxey's employment and the outrages that he committed against the plaintiff was not established - Had it been established, policy considerations would have favoured a finding of vicarious liability - The imposition of no-fault liability would benefit the victim and deter similar conduct in the future - See paragraphs 1 to 57.

Torts - Topic 2530

Vicarious liability - Master and servant - Employer - Liability for acts of employees - [See Master and Servant - Topic 3675 and second Master and Servant - Topic 3703 ].

Cases Noticed:

P.A.B. v. Children's Foundation et al., [1999] 2 S.C.R. 534; 241 N.R. 266; 124 B.C.A.C. 119; 203 W.A.C. 119, appld. [paras. 2, 59].

Bazley v. Curry - see P.A.B. v. Children's Foundation et al.

G.T.-J. et al. v. Griffiths et al., [1999] 2 S.C.R. 570; 241 N.R. 201; 124 B.C.A.C. 161; 203 W.A.C. 161, appld. [paras. 3, 62].

Jacobi v. Griffiths - see G.T.-J. et al. v. Griffiths et al.

K.L.B. et al. v. British Columbia et al., [2003] 2 S.C.R. 403; 309 N.R. 306; 187 B.C.A.C. 42; 307 W.A.C. 42; 2003 SCC 51, refd to. [paras. 3, 62].

John Doe v. Bennett et al., [2004] 1 S.C.R. 436; 318 N.R. 146; 236 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 215; 700 A.P.R. 215; 2004 SCC 17, refd to. [paras. 3, 62].

H.L. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [2005] 1 S.C.R. 401; 333 N.R. 1; 262 Sask.R. 1; 347 W.A.C. 1; 2005 SCC 25, refd to. [para. 3].

E.D.G. v. Hammer et al., [1998] B.C.T.C. Uned. 974; 53 B.C.L.R.(3d) 89 (S.C.), refd to. [paras. 14, 103].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1; 2002 SCC 33, refd to. [paras. 23, 107].

Canadian Pacific Railway Co. v. Lockhart, [1942] A.C. 591 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 24].

Lister et al. v. Hesley Hall Ltd., [2002] 1 A.C. 215; 270 N.R. 203; [2001] UKHL 22, refd to. [para. 26].

E.D.G. v. Hammer et al. (2001), 151 B.C.A.C. 34; 249 W.A.C. 34; 197 D.L.R.(4th) 454; 2001 BCCA 226, affd. [2003] 2 S.C.R. 459; 310 N.R. 1; 187 B.C.A.C. 193; 307 W.A.C. 193; 2003 SCC 52, refd to. [para. 43].

McDonald v. Mombourquette et al. (1996), 152 N.S.R.(2d) 109; 442 A.P.R. 109 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 44].

W.K. v. Pornbacher et al., [1997] B.C.T.C. Uned. 50; 32 B.C.L.R.(3d) 360 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 44].

S.G.H. v. Gorsline et al., [2005] 2 W.W.R. 716; 354 A.R. 46; 329 W.A.C. 46; 2004 ABCA 186, refd to. [para. 44].

F.S.M. v. Clarke et al., [1999] 11 W.W.R. 301; 20 B.C.T.C. 161 (S.C.), refd to. [paras. 44, 102].

T.E.G.H. v. P.K. et al., [2001] 6 W.W.R. 546; 282 A.R. 45; 2001 ABQB 43, refd to. [para. 44].

H.L. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2002), 227 Sask.R. 165; 287 W.A.C. 165; 2002 SKCA 131, refd to. [para. 45].

C.A. et al. v. Critchley et al. (1998), 113 B.C.A.C. 248; 184 W.A.C. 248; 166 D.L.R.(4th) 475 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

Boudreau v. Jacob et al. (1998), 204 N.B.R.(2d) 254; 520 A.P.R. 254; 166 D.L.R.(4th) 125 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

C.S. v. Miller et al. (2002), 306 A.R. 289; 2002 ABQB 152, refd to. [para. 46].

John Doe v. Bennett et al. (2002), 215 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 310; 644 A.P.R. 310; 218 D.L.R.(4th) 276; 2002 NFCA 47, refd to. [para. 47].

Blackwater et al. v. Plint et al., [1998] B.C.T.C. Uned. 755; 339 N.R. 355; 52 B.C.L.R.(3d) 18 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 102].

D.W. v. Canada (Attorney General) and Starr (1999), 187 Sask.R. 21; 1999 SKQB 187, refd to. [para. 102].

V.P. v. Canada (Attorney General) and Starr (1999), 186 Sask.R. 161; 1999 SKQB 180, refd to. [para. 102].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canada, Law Commission, Restoring Dignity: Responding to Child Abuse in Canadian Institutions (2000), generally [para. 72].

Canada, Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Looking Forward, Looking Back (1996), vol. 1, c. 10 [para. 72].

Claes, Rhonda, and Clifton, Deborah, Needs and  Expectations  for  Redress of Victims of Abuse at Residential Schools (1998), generally [para. 72].

Counsel:

John R. Shewfelt and Darrell W. Roberts, Q.C., for the appellant;

Azool Jaffer-Jeraj and Mobina Jaffer, Q.C., for the respondent;

Mitchell R. Taylor, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Karen A. Horsman, for the intervener, the Attorney General of British Columbia.

Solicitors of Record:

Miller Thomson, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the appellant;

Dohm, Jaffer & Jeraj, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the respondent;

Attorney General of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Attorney General of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the intervener, the Attorney General of British Columbia.

This appeal was heard on December 7, 2004, by McLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages on October 28, 2005, and the following opinions were filed:

Binnie, J. (McLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish and Charron, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 58;

Abella, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 59 to 112.

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