Sanford v. Carleton Road Ind., 2015 NSCA 95

Judge:Beveridge, Bourgeois and Van den Eynden, JJ.A.
Court:Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
Case Date:May 15, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:2015 NSCA 95;(2015), 366 N.S.R.(2d) 104 (CA)
 
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Sanford v. Carleton Road Ind. (2015), 366 N.S.R.(2d) 104 (CA);

    1154 A.P.R. 104

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. OC.029

Carleton Road Industries Association (appellant) v. Rhonda Sanford (respondent)

(CA 433472; 2015 NSCA 95)

Indexed As: Sanford v. Carleton Road Industries Association

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

Beveridge, Bourgeois and Van den Eynden, JJ.A.

October 15, 2015.

Summary:

The plaintiff alleged that she was wrongfully dismissed in 2008, that the defendant had negligently caused her emotional harm and that it had intentionally inflicted emotional harm on her. The defendant refused to respond to certain discovery questions on the basis of relevance, asserting, inter alia, that the claim was statute-barred as well as being vexatious and frivolous. The plaintiff sought an order requiring the witness to answer the questions. The defendant moved to strike certain portions of the statement of claim.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in a decision reported at (2014), 345 N.S.R.(2d) 322; 1092 A.P.R. 322, granted the plaintiff's motion. The defendant's motion was granted in part. The defendant sought leave to appeal.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal and dismissed the appeal.

Courts - Topic 583

Judges - Duties - Re reasons for decisions (incl. notes) - The plaintiff alleged that she was wrongfully dismissed in 2008, that the defendant had negligently caused her emotional harm and that it had intentionally inflicted emotional harm on her - The defendant moved to strike the claims - Moir, J.'s written decision struck the claim for negligent infliction of emotional harm, but did not address the claim for intentional infliction of emotional harm - Following a request from the parties, Moir, J., clarified the ruling in a letter to counsel which stated that he had not intended to strike the claim for intentional infliction of emotional harm - On appeal, the defendant asserted that Moir, J., had erred by failing to rule on the issue or by failing to provide reasons - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - While a failure to rule was a reviewable error, Moir, J., had clarified the ruling before becoming functus - However, the failure to provide sufficient reasons was an error in law - The error did not justify appellate intervention as there was sufficient evidence and submissions to permit the court to decide the issue - The claim could have been more clearly articulated and better organized, but it could not be said that the claim failed to disclose a cause of action - While Moir, J., had not given reasons for denying the motion to strike the claim for intentional infliction of emotional harm, his ultimate decision was correct - See paragraphs 23 to 34.

Courts - Topic 586

Judges - Duties - Duty to hear evidence and submissions of a litigant - The plaintiff alleged that she was wrongfully dismissed in 2008, that the defendant had negligently caused her emotional harm and that it had intentionally inflicted emotional harm on her - The defendant refused to respond to certain discovery questions - The plaintiff sought an order requiring the witness to answer the questions - The defendant also moved to strike portions of the plaintiff's claim - The parties agreed that, following Moir, J.'s decision on the motion to strike, he would call for submissions on the motion to compel - He failed to do so, but decided both motions in a written decision released after hearing the motion to strike - The motion to compel was allowed on the basis of relevance - The defendant appealed, asserting a breach of procedural fairness and that the lines of questioning were unsupported - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal found that the failure to provide the agreed opportunity for further submissions was a "clear error of law" - However, the defendant was not prejudiced - The record included written briefs from each side on the motion to compel - The defendant had an opportunity to make further submissions on the appeal - Based on the record, Moir, J.'s decision and the appeal submissions, Moir, J., was correct in finding that "the questions demanded relevant information" - The objections seemed intended to obstruct and did unfairly obstruct the discovery - The appeal was dismissed - See paragraphs 38 to 49.

Master and Servant - Topic 8003

Dismissal without cause - Notice of dismissal - Reasonable notice - Considerations affecting (incl. bad faith) - The plaintiff alleged that she was wrongfully dismissed in 2008 - Paragraph 19 of the statement of claim sought "Wallace damages" (i.e., an increase in the notice period) - The defendant moved to strike paragraph 19, asserting that it sought a remedy that was no longer available after the decision in Keays v. Honda Canada Inc. (2008 S.C.C.) - Moir, J., denied the motion, stating that a claim for "Wallace damages" was recognized to mean damages established in Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd. (1997 S.C.C.) as modified by Keays - Keays did not make Wallace damages a remedy that was unavailable - The remedy remained - The statement of claim gave adequate notice that the remedy was sought, although it erroneously argued that the damages were tied to the notice period - The defendant appealed - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The pleadings on their face articulated the elements to sustain a claim for Wallace-type damages - See paragraphs 35 to 37.

Practice - Topic 2226

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - General - [See Master and Servant - Topic 8003 ].

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - General - Failure to disclose a cause of action or defence - [See Courts - Topic 583 ].

Practice - Topic 4180

Discovery - Examination - General - Objection to questions - General - [See Courts - Topic 586 ].

Practice - Topic 4252

Discovery - Examination - Range of - Questions related to or relevant and material to issues between the parties - [See Courts - Topic 586 ].

Practice - Topic 8817

Appeals - General principles - Duty of appellate court where trial judge fails to give or gives inadequate reasons for judgment - [See Courts - Topic 583 ].

Cases Noticed:

MacQueen et al. v. Nova Scotia et al. (2013), 324 N.S.R.(2d) 102; 1029 A.P.R. 102; 2013 NSCA 5, refd to. [para. 21].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 22].

Geophysical Services Inc. v. Sable Mary Seismic Inc. et al. (2012), 315 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 998 A.P.R. 201; 2012 NSCA 33, refd to. [para. 22].

Benc et al. v. Parker et al. (2012), 536 A.R. 145; 559 W.A.C. 145; 2012 ABCA 249, refd to. [para. 22].

Waterman v. Waterman (2014), 357 N.S.R.(2d) 36; 1127 A.P.R. 36; 2014 NSCA 110, refd to. [para. 22].

Innocente v. Canada (Attorney General) (2012), 315 N.S.R.(2d) 273; 998 A.P.R. 273; 2012 NSCA 36, refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. Sheppard (C.), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 869; 284 N.R. 342; 211 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 50; 633 A.P.R. 50, refd to. [para. 25].

High Parklane Consulting Inc. et al. v. Royal Group Technologies Ltd., [2007] O.T.C. Uned. 37 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 30].

Keays v. Honda Canada Inc. (2008), 376 N.R. 196; 239 O.A.C. 299; 2008 SCC 39, refd to. [para. 36].

Brown v. Cape Breton (Regional Municipality) (2011), 302 N.S.R.(2d) 84; 955 A.P.R. 84; 2011 NSCA 32, refd to. [para. 43].

Global Petroleum Corp. et al. v. CBI Industries Inc. et al. (1998), 172 N.S.R.(2d) 326; 524 A.P.R. 326; 1998 NSCA 220, refd to. [para. 48].

Counsel:

Mark Tector, for the appellant;

G. Bernard Conway and Gregory Sampson, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 15, 2015, at Halifax, N.S., by Beveridge, Bourgeois and Van den Eynden, JJ.A., of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. On October 15, 2015, Van den Eynden, J.A., delivered the following reasons for judgment for the court.

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