Grant v. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority et al., (2015) 319 Man.R.(2d) 67 (CA)

JudgeMonnin, Cameron and Mainella, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Manitoba)
Case DateSeptember 22, 2014
JurisdictionManitoba
Citations(2015), 319 Man.R.(2d) 67 (CA);2015 MBCA 44

Grant v. Health Authority (2015), 319 Man.R.(2d) 67 (CA);

      638 W.A.C. 67

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] Man.R.(2d) TBEd. MY.012

Esther Joyce Grant (on her own behalf and in her capacity as Administrator of the Estate of Brian Lloyd Sinclair) (plaintiff/appellant) v. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Brock Wright, Heidi Graham, Susan Alcock, Cathy Janke, Jan Kozubal, Elizabeth Franklin, Wendy Krongold, Robert Malo, Hugo Torres-Cereceda, Honora Kearney, Val Hiebert, Todd Torfason, Lori Stevens, Jordan Loechner, Jane Doe and John Doe (defendants/respondents) and The Government of Manitoba (defendant)

(AI 13-30-08070; 2015 MBCA 44)

Indexed As: Grant v. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority et al.

Manitoba Court of Appeal

Monnin, Cameron and Mainella, JJ.A.

May 4, 2015.

Summary:

Brian Sinclair died in an emergency waiting room. His sister (the plaintiff) commenced an action on her own behalf and as administrator of Sinclair's estate. The defendants moved to strike parts of the amended statement of claim as disclosing no reasonable cause of action (Queen's Bench Rule 25.11(d)).

A Master of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at 277 Man.R.(2d) 254, struck out the Charter claims against the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and the Government of Manitoba, the breach of privacy claim against the WRHA defendants, and the public nuisance claim against Manitoba. No mention was made of the claim for negligent disclosure. The plaintiff appealed.

The Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at 295 Man.R.(2d) 193, dismissed the appeal. The motion judge determined that the plaintiff lacked standing to advance the Charter claim because, in his view, death extinguished the right to seek redress for a violation of the Charter, even when the violation allegedly contributed to the death. The motion judge also determined that a third party could not sue in negligence for the deliberate release of personal information of another person, on the basis that there was no duty of care owed to the plaintiff in her personal capacity. The plaintiff appealed.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 8583

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Who may raise Charter issues (incl. standing) - The plaintiff was the sister of the deceased and the administrator of his estate - The Charter claim alleged that breaches of the deceased's Charter rights contributed to his death - The defendants moved to strike the claim - The motion judge determined that the plaintiff lacked standing to advance the Charter claim because, in his view, death extinguished the right to seek redress for a violation of the Charter, even when the violation allegedly contributed to the death - The Manitoba Court of Appeal allowed the appeal - "[T]he plaintiff should have been granted public interest standing to pursue the serious constitutional issue of whether redress for a violation of the Charter ends on death, even when the violation allegedly contributed to the death. It is necessary to reverse the motion judge for two reasons. The motion judge erred in concluding that the decisions of Hislop and Giacomelli are determinative of the issue of whether redress for a violation of the Charter ends on death. In my view, the circumstances of death are consequential to any existing or resulting Charter litigation. Neither Hislop nor Giacomelli was a situation where the alleged Charter violation occurred when the decedent was alive and it is alleged that the Charter violation contributed to the death. Also, the motion judge failed to properly consider, in deciding the motion to strike, that the Charter claim raises societal interests, such as vindication of Charter rights and deterrence of state actors." - See paragraphs 31 to 33.

Equity - Topic 3901

Fiduciary or confidential relationships - Breach of confidence - General - [See second Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Practice - Topic 221

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Public interest standing - [See Civil Rights - Topic 8583 ].

Practice - Topic 2203

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Setting aside order striking out pleadings - [See Practice - Topic 8825.7 ].

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Failure to disclose a cause of action or defence - The Manitoba Court of Appeal discussed the test under Queen's Bench Rule 25.11(d) for striking out a pleading on the ground that it did not disclose a reasonable cause of action or defence - See paragraphs 34 to 38.

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Failure to disclose a cause of action or defence - The plaintiff sought damages for the alleged negligent disclosure of the deceased (Sinclair)'s personal medical information by hospital officials during statements to the media after his death - The motion judge determined that a third party could not sue in negligence for the deliberate release of personal information of another person, and struck the claim as disclosing no reasonable cause of action (Queen's Bench Rule 25.11(d)) - The Manitoba Court of Appeal held that the motion judge erred when he dismissed the claim for negligent disclosure on the grounds that there was no duty of care owed to the plaintiff in her personal capacity - "[I]t is clear from the emerging jurisprudence that, had Mr. Sinclair survived, he may, on the facts set out in the statement of claim, have advanced a claim for breach of confidence or intrusion upon seclusion or perhaps for publicity which placed him in a false light in the public eye. Whether family members, who claim to have suffered as a result of a breach of a privacy interest of another member, are in sufficient proximity to the victim in a tort context and are therefore able to advance a claim in their own right, remains an open question. It would not be appropriate to dismiss at this early stage the possibility of a court recognizing that damages suffered by immediate or close family members as a result of such a breach are compensable." - See paragraphs 114 to 127.

Practice - Topic 8800.2

Appeals - General principles - Duty of appellate court regarding findings of law - [See Practice - Topic 8825.7 ].

Practice - Topic 8825.7

Appeals - General principles - Duty of appeal court from decision of motions judge on striking pleadings - The motion judge struck parts of an amended statement of claim, including a Charter claim, as disclosing no reasonable cause of action - The plaintiff appealed - The Manitoba Court of Appeal discussed the standard of review - "Whether a pleading discloses a reasonable cause of action or defence is a matter of judicial discretion that, absent a reversible error on fact or law, is entitled to significant deference on appeal unless the decision is so clearly wrong as to amount to an injustice ... . However, I agree with the position taken by both parties on this appeal that the question of whether it is plain and obvious that redress for a violation of the Charter ends on death, even when the violation allegedly contributed to the death, raises an extricable point of law. Therefore, the standard of review of the motion judge's decision to strike out the Charter claim is correctness" - See paragraphs 39 and 40.

Torts - Topic 5402

Invasion of privacy - General - Pleadings - [See second Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Torts - Topic 5545

Invasion of privacy - Collection and use of personal information - Actions - Common law - [See second Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Torts - Topic 7903

Survival of actions - General - Legislation - Application of - The plaintiff was the sister of the deceased and the administrator of his estate - The Charter claim alleged that the breaches of the deceased's rights contributed to his death, leading to a remedy pursuant to s. 24(1) of the Charter - The plaintiff conceded that simply being a family member, as well as administrator of the estate, did not give her a sufficient personal interest to challenge the alleged unconstitutional actions - The Manitoba Court of Appeal considered the various survival legislation in Canada - For the purposes of the appeal, the Court limited its comments to the issue of causes of action that survived death for the benefit of an estate - Survival legislation in Manitoba (Fatal Accidents Act, s. 53(1)) did not assist the plaintiff - Other Canadian jurisdictions had significantly more expansive survival legislation - "[T]he law in Manitoba currently is that, unless a personal representative meets the common law criteria of public interest standing, no Charter claim can be brought on behalf of a deceased for the benefit of his or her estate" - See paragraphs 46 to 54.

Torts - Topic 7947

Survival of actions - Practice - Parties - [See Torts - Topic 7903 ].

Trade Regulation - Topic 9445

Protection of personal information and electronic documents - Protection, collection or disclosure of personal information - Health information - [See second Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Cases Noticed:

Soldier v. Canada (Attorney General) (2009), 236 Man.R.(2d) 107; 448 W.A.C. 107; 2009 MBCA 12, refd to. [para. 7].

Canadian Federation of Students (B.C.) et al. v. Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority et al., [2009] 2 S.C.R. 295; 389 N.R. 98; 272 B.C.A.C. 29; 459 W.A.C. 29; 2009 SCC 31, refd to. [para. 22].

Hislop et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [2003] O.T.C. 1111 (Sup. Ct.), revd. in part (2004), 192 O.A.C. 331, affd. [2007] 1 S.C.R. 429; 358 N.R. 197; 222 O.A.C. 324; 2007 SCC 10, dist. [paras. 26, 62 et seq.].

Giacomelli v. Canada (Attorney General) (2008), 236 O.A.C. 212; 2008 ONCA 346, leave to appeal denied, (2008), 390 N.R. 395 (S.C.C.), dist. [paras. 26, 72 et seq.].

Ward v. Vancouver (City) et al., [2010] 2 S.C.R. 28; 404 N.R. 1; 290 B.C.A.C. 222; 491 W.A.C. 222; 2010 SCC 27, appld. [paras. 26, 79 et seq.].

Hunt v. T & N plc et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959; 117 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 31].

Hunt v. Carey Canada Inc. - see Hunt v. T & N plc et al.

British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 45; 419 N.R. 1; 308 B.C.A.C. 1; 521 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 42, refd to. [para. 35].

Dawson et al. v. Rexcraft Storage and Warehouse Inc. et al. (1998), 111 O.A.C. 201 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 35].

Ellett and Kyte v. Qualico Securities (Winnipeg) Ltd. et al. (1990), 64 Man.R.(2d) 318 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 36].

Odhavji Estate et al. v. Woodhouse et al., [2003] 3 S.C.R. 263; 312 N.R. 305; 180 O.A.C. 201; 2003 SCC 69, refd to. [para. 36].

Driskell v. Dangerfield et al. (2008), 228 Man.R.(2d) 116; 427 W.A.C. 116; 2008 MBCA 60, refd to. [para. 37].

Henry v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al. (2015), 470 N.R. 200; 369 B.C.A.C. 47; 634 W.A.C. 47; 2015 SCC 24, refd to. [para. 38].

Chrysler Canada Inc. v. Eastwood Chrysler Dodge Ltd. et al. (2010), 262 Man.R.(2d) 1; 507 W.A.C. 1; 2010 MBCA 75, refd to. [para. 39].

Young v. Ewatski (2012), 280 Man.R.(2d) 239; 548 W.A.C. 239; 2012 MBCA 64, leave to appeal denied (2013), 452 N.R. 398 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 40].

Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [2012] 2 S.C.R. 524; 434 N.R. 257; 325 B.C.A.C. 1; 553 W.A.C. 1; 2012 SCC 45, refd to. [para. 42].

R. v. Edwards (C.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 128; 192 N.R. 81; 88 O.A.C. 321, refd to. [para. 44].

Benner v. Canada (Secretary of State), [1997] 1 S.C.R. 358; 208 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 44].

R. v. Ferguson (M.E.), [2008] 1 S.C.R. 96; 371 N.R. 231; 425 A.R. 79; 418 W.A.C. 79; 2008 SCC 6, refd to. [para. 44].

Finlay v. Canada, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 607; 71 N.R. 338, refd to. [para. 45].

Anderson v. Chasney and Sisters of St. Joseph, [1949] 4 D.L.R. 71; 57 Man. R. 343 (C.A.), affd. [1950] 4 D.L.R. 223 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 47].

Attorney General v. Canter, [1939] 1 K.B. 318 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 47].

MacLean et al. v. MacDonald (2002), 201 N.S.R.(2d) 237; 629 A.P.R. 237; 2002 NSCA 30, refd to. [para. 48].

Admiralty Commissioners v. S.S. Amerika, [1917] A.C. 38 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 49].

Gayhart v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles (1956), 6 D.L.R.(2d) 474 (Man. C.A.), refd to. [para. 50].

de Montigny v. Brossard (Succession), [2010] 3 S.C.R. 64; 408 N.R. 80; 2010 SCC 51, refd to. [para. 53].

Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), [2013] 1 S.C.R. 623; 441 N.R. 209; 291 Man.R.(2d) 1; 570 W.A.C. 1; 2013 SCC 14, refd to. [para. 55].

Thorson v. Canada (Attorney General), [1975] 1 S.C.R. 138; 1 N.R. 225, refd to. [para. 57].

McNeil v. Nova Scotia Board of Censors, [1976] 2 S.C.R. 265; 5 N.R. 43; 12 N.S.R.(2d) 85; 6 A.P.R. 85, refd to. [para. 57].

Borowski v. Canada (Minister of Justice) and Canada (Minister of Finance), [1981] 2 S.C.R. 575; 39 N.R. 331; 12 Sask.R. 420, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Wholesale Travel Group Inc. and Chedore, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 154; 130 N.R. 1; 49 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 60].

R. v. Jarvis (W.J.), [2002] 3 S.C.R. 757; 295 N.R. 201; 317 A.R. 1; 284 W.A.C. 1; 2002 SCC 73, refd to. [para. 60].

Rice, P.C.J. v. New Brunswick, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 405; 282 N.R. 201; 245 N.B.R.(2d) 299; 636 A.P.R. 299; 2002 SCC 13, refd to. [para. 69].

Mackin v. New Brunswick (Minister of Finance) - see Rice, P.C.J. v. New Brunswick.

Air Canada and Pacific Western Airlines Ltd. v. British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1161; 95 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 82].

Kingstreet Investments Ltd. et al. v. New Brunswick (Minister of Finance) et al., [2007] 1 S.C.R. 3; 355 N.R. 336; 309 N.B.R.(2d) 255; 799 A.P.R. 255; 2007 SCC 1, refd to. [para. 82].

Doucet-Boudreau et al. v. Nova Scotia (Minister of Education) et al., [2003] 3 S.C.R. 3; 312 N.R. 1; 218 N.S.R.(2d) 311; 687 A.P.R. 311; 2003 SCC 62, refd to. [para. 82].

Rose v. Ford, [1937] A.C. 826 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 83].

Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association et al. v. British Columbia, [2007] 2 S.C.R. 391; 363 N.R. 226; 242 B.C.A.C. 1; 400 W.A.C. 1; 2007 SCC 27, refd to. [para. 84].

Carter et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2015), 468 N.R. 1; 2015 SCC 5, refd to. [para. 84].

Dudley v. Canada (Attorney General) - see Surakka v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General) et al.

Surakka v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General) et al., [2013] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1005; 49 B.C.L.R.(5th) 382; 2013 BCSC 1005, consd. [paras. 85 et seq.].

Ashley v. Chief Constable of Sussex Police, [2008] 1 A.C. 962; [2008] UKHL 25, consd. [paras. 85, 87 et seq.].

Dunlea v. Attorney-General, [2000] 3 N.Z.L.R. 136; [2000] NZCA 84, refd to. [para. 90].

Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago v. Ramanoop, [2006] 1 A.C. 328; [2005] UKPC 15, refd to. [para. 90].

Wilson v. Canada et al., [1996] B.C.T.C. Uned. 857; 25 B.C.L.R.(3d) 181 (S.C.), disagreed with [para. 95].

International Corona Resources Ltd. v. LAC Minerals Ltd., [1989] 2 S.C.R. 574; 101 N.R. 239; 36 O.A.C. 57, refd to. [para. 118].

Cadbury Schweppes Inc. et al. v. FBI Foods Ltd. et al., [1999] 1 S.C.R. 142; 235 N.R. 30; 117 B.C.A.C. 161; 91 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 118].

H.R.G. v. M.S.L., [2007] B.C.T.C. Uned. E86; 75 B.C.L.R.(4th) 141; 2007 BCSC 930, refd to. [para. 118].

Canada (Attorney General) v. Rundle, [2013] O.T.C. Uned. 2747; 16 B.L.R.(5th) 269; 2013 ONSC 2747, refd to. [para. 118].

Sabre Inc. et al. v. International Air Transport Association et al. (2011), 286 O.A.C. 246; 2011 ONCA 747, refd to. [para. 118].

Coco v. A.N. Clark (Engineers) Ltd., [1969] R.P.C. 41 (Ch.), refd to. [para. 120].

Attorney General v. Guardian Newspapers Ltd. (No. 2), [1990] 1 A.C. 109 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 120].

Campbell v. MGN Ltd., [2005] N.R. Uned. 171; [2004] 2 A.C. 457; [2004] UKHL 22, refd to. [para. 120].

Douglas v. Hello! Ltd., [2008] 1 A.C. 1; [2007] UKHL 21, refd to. [para. 120].

R. v. Broadcasting Complaints Commission, ex parte Granada Television Ltd., [1995] EMLR 163 (Eng. C.A.), refd to. [para. 121].

Jones v. Tsige (2012), 287 O.A.C. 56; 2012 ONCA 32, refd to. [para. 122].

Hopkins et al. v. Kay et al. (2015), 329 O.A.C. 311; 380 D.L.R.(4th) 506; 2015 ONCA 112, refd to. [para. 125].

Hynes et al. v. Western Regional Integrated Health Authority (2014), 357 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 138; 1109 A.P.R. 138; 2014 NLTD(G) 137, refd to. [para. 125].

R. v. Mian (M.H.), [2014] 2 S.C.R. 689; 462 N.R. 1; 580 A.R. 1; 620 W.A.C. 1; 2014 SCC 54, refd to. [para. 129].

Statutes Noticed:

Fatal Accidents Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. F-50; C.C.S.M., c. F-50, sect. 53(1) [para. 46].

Queen's Bench Rules (Man.) - see Rules of Court (Man.).

Rules of Court (Man.), Reg. 553/88, rule 25.11(d) [para. 34].

Authors and Works Noticed:

American Law Institute, Restatement of the Law (Second), Torts (2010), § 652B [para. 122].

Bingham, Tom, The Rule of Law (2010), p. 8 [para. 92].

Cohen, Ronald I., The Transmissibility of Damage Claims (1970), 16 McGill L.J. 676 [para. 53].

Cromwell, Thomas A., Locus Standi: A Commentary on the Law of Standing in Canada (1986), pp. 92 [para. 43]; 100 to 102 [para. 57].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (5th Ed. 2007) (Looseleaf 2014-1), Vol. 2, p. 40-29 [para. 56].

Holdsworth, W.S., The Origin of the Rule in Baker v. Bolton (1916), 32 L.Q. Rev. 431 [para. 83].

Manitoba Law Reform Commission, Report No. 35, Report on The Estate Claim for Loss of Expectation of Life (1979), generally [para. 50].

Prosser, William L., Privacy (1960), 48 Cal. Law Rev. 383, p. 389 [para. 123].

Strayer, Barry L., The Canadian Constitution and the Courts: The Function and Scope of Judicial Review (3rd Ed. 1988), pp. 185 to 186 [para. 57].

Winfield, Percy H., Death as Affecting Liability in Tort (1929), 29 Columbia L. Rev. 239 [para. 83].

Counsel:

M.N. Trachtenberg and V. Zbogar, for the appellant;

K.L. Dixon, for the respondents.

This appeal was heard on September 22, 2014, before Monnin, Cameron and Mainella, JJ.A., of the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Court delivered the following reasons and dispositions, dated May 4, 2015:

Mainella, J.A. - see paragraphs 1 to 99;

Monnin, J.A. - see paragraphs 100 to 129;

Cameron, J.A., concurring - see paragraph 130.

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