Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, (1989) 94 N.R. 321 (SCC)

JudgeBeetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 04, 1989
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1989), 94 N.R. 321 (SCC);25 CCEL 81;1989 CanLII 93 (SCC);42 BLR 111;[1989] ACS no 46;94 NR 321;[1989] 1 SCR 1085;[1989] SCJ No 46 (QL);36 BCLR (2d) 273;58 DLR (4th) 193;[1989] CarswellBC 76;[1989] 4 WWR 218

Vorvis v. Ins. Corp. of B.C. (1989), 94 N.R. 321 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

.........................

Eonis J. Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

(No. 18844)

Indexed As: Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

Supreme Court of Canada

Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ.

May 4, 1989.

Summary:

Vorvis, age 54, was employed by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in September 1973 as a junior solicitor. In January 1981 Vorvis was dismissed. Vorvis claimed damages for wrongful dismissal. The trial judge held that Vorvis was wrongfully dismissed and awarded damages based on a seven month notice requirement but rejected claims for loss of pension rights, and for aggravated and punitive damages - see 134 D.L.R.(3d) 727. Vorvis appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed the appeal to the extent of an award of $4,308 for loss of overtime salary - see 53 B.C.L.R. 63; 9 D.L.R.(4th) 40. Vorvis appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Damages - Topic 904

Aggravated damages defined - The Supreme Court of Canada defined aggravated damages and distinguished punitive damages - See paragraph 16.

Damages - Topic 912

Aggravation - In contract - For breach - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that aggravated damages may be awarded in actions for breach of contract in appropriate cases - See paragraph 21.

Damages - Topic 1296.1

Exemplary or punitive damages defined - The Supreme Court of Canada defined punitive damages and distinguished aggravated damages - See paragraph 16.

Damages - Topic 1297

Exemplary or punitive damages - When awarded - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the limitations in Rookes v. Barnard (House of Lords) do not apply to Canada (see paragraph 24) - The court stated that punitive damages can only be awarded where there is a finding of the commission of an actionable wrong which caused the plaintiff's injury - See paragraph 25.

Damages - Topic 1305

Exemplary or punitive damages - Breach of contract - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that in cases of breach of contract an award of punitive damages will be very rare - See paragraph 26.

Master and Servant - Topic 1221

Employment contract - Termination - General - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that an employment contract may be terminated by either employer or employee "and no wrong is done by the termination itself"; but the employee may be entitled to notice - See paragraph 13.

Master and Servant - Topic 1960

Remuneration - Pension benefits, on dismissal - Vorvis, an employee, was a member of a pension plan which provided for contributions by both the employer and employee and provided for a vesting after ten years - After seven years' employment Vorvis was wrongfully dismissed - Pursuant to a clause in the pension plan Vorvis was refunded his contributions but not the employers' - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Vorvis' claim for damages for loss of pension rights - See paragraphs 6 to 13.

Master and Servant - Topic 8063

Dismissal without cause - Damages - Mental distress - An employee was wrongfully dismissed and claimed damages for mental distress as a result of his dismissal - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the dismissal of the employee's claim because the conduct complained of preceded the wrongful dismissal and the claim did not result from the dismissal - See paragraphs 21 to 23.

Cases Noticed:

Gillespie v. Bulkley Valley Forest Industries Ltd., [1973] 6 W.W.R. 551 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 10].

Sloan v. Union Oil Co. of Canada (1955), 16 W.W.R.(N.S.) 225 (B.C.S. C.), dist. [para. 11].

Wilson v. Rudolph Werlitzer Co. (1934), 194 N.E. 441 (Ohio C.A.), dist. [para. 11].

Kern v. City of Long Beach (1947), 179 P.2d 799, dist. [para. 11].

Police Pension and Relief Bd. of City and County of Denver v. Bills (1961), 366 P.2d 581, dist. [para. 11].

London Export Corp. Ltd. v. Jubilee Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd., [1958] 2 All E.R. 411, refd to. [para. 13].

Tippett v. International Typographical Union Local 226 (1976), 71 D.L.R.(3d) 146 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 14].

Jarvis v. Swan Tours Ltd., [1973] 1 All E.R. 71 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

Cringle v. Northern Union Insurance Co. (1981), 124 D.L.R.(3d) 22, refd to. [para. 14].

Cox v. Philips Industries Ltd., [1976] 3 All E.R. 161 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 14].

Pilon v. Peugeot Canada Ltd. (1980), 114 D.L.R.(3d) 378 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 14].

Peso Silver Mines Ltd. (N.P.L.) v. Cropper, [1966] S.C.R. 673; 58 D.L. R.(2d) 1; 56 W.W.R.(N.S.) 641 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 14].

Harvey Foods Ltd. v. Reed (1971), 3 N.B.R.(2d) 444; 18 D.L.R.(3d) 90 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

Addis v. Gramophone Co., [1909] A.C. 488 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 15].

Heywood v. Wellers, [1976] 1 All E.R. 300 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 19].

Brown v. Waterloo Regional Board of Commissioners of Police (1982), 136 D.L.R.(3d) 49 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 19].

Pilato v. Hamilton Place Convention Centre Inc. (1984), 45 O.R.(2d) 652 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 20].

Speck v. Greater Niagara General Hospital (1983), 43 O.R.(2d) 611 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 20].

Bohemier v. Storwal International Inc. (1982), 142 D.L.R. 8 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 20].

Perkins v. Brandon University and Potter (1985), 35 Man.R.(2d) 177, refd to. [para. 20].

Abouna v. Foothills Provincial General Hospital Board (No. 2) (1978), 8 A.R. 94; 83 D.L.R.(3d) 333 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

McMinn v. Town of Oakville (1978), 19 O.R.(2d) 366 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 20].

Rookes v. Barnard, [1964] A.C. 1129, refd to. [para. 24].

McElroy v. Cowper-Smith and Woodman, [1967] S.C.R. 425, refd to. [para. 24].

Paragon Properties Ltd. v. Magna Envestments Ltd. (1972), 24 D.L.R. (3d) 156 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 24].

Uren v. John Fairfax & Sons Pty. Ltd. (1966), 117 C.L.R. 118, refd to. [para. 24].

Fogg v. McKnight, [1968] N.Z.L.R. 330, refd to. [para. 24].

Robitaille v. Vancouver Hockey Club Ltd. (1981), 124 D.L.R.(3d) 228 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

H.L. Weiss Forwarding Ltd. v. Omnus, [1976] 1 S.C.R. 776; 5 N.R. 511, refd to. [para. 25].

Warner v. Arsenault (1982), 53 N.S.R.(2d) 146; 109 A.P.R. 146 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 27].

Meyer v. Gordon (1981), 17 C.C.L.T. 1 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 27].

Antonaros v. SNC Inc. (1984), 6 C.C.E.L. 264 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 43].

Gordon v. Saint John Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. (1983), 47 N.B.R.(2d) 150; 124 A.P.R. 150 (N.B.Q.B.), refd to. [para. 43].

Cormier v. Hostess Food Products Ltd. (1984), 52 N.B.R.(2d) 288; 137 A.P.R. 288 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 43].

Lightburn v. Mid Island Consumer Services Cooperative (1984), 4 C.C. E.L. 263 (B.C. Co. Ct.), refd to. [para. 43].

Hadley v. Baxendale (1854), 9 Ex. 341; 156 E.R. 145, refd to. [para. 44].

Bliss v. South East Thames Regional Health Authority, [1987] I.C.R. 700, refd to. [para. 45].

Hayes and anor v. Dodds, [1988] N.L.J. 259, refd to. [para. 45].

Victoria Laundry (Windsor Ltd.) v. Newman Industries Ltd., [1949] 2 K.B. 528 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 47].

Koufos v. R. Czarnikow Ltd. (Heron II), [1969] 1 A.C. 350 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 47].

Newell v. Canadian Pacific Airlines Ltd. (1976), 14 O.R.(2d) 752 (Ont. Co. Ct.), refd to. [para. 48].

Cook v. Swinfen, [1967] 1 W.L.R. 457 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 48].

Guildford v. Anglo-French Steamship Co. (1883), 9 S.C.R. 303, refd to. [para. 50].

Cardinal Construction Ltd. v. The Queen in right of Ontario (1981), 32 O.R.(2d) 575 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 51].

Dale Perusse Ltd. v. Kason (1985), 6 C.P.C.(2d) 129 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 52].

Noranda Mines Ltd. v. Seaboard Surety Co. (1985), 8 O.A.C. 316; 7 C.C.E.L. 227 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 52].

Centennial Centre of Science and Technology v. VS Services Ltd. (1982), 40 O.R.(2d) 253 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 52].

Delmotte v. John Labatt Ltd. (1978), 22 O.R.(2d) 90 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 52].

Nantel v. Parisien (1981), 18 C.C.L.T. 79 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 52].

Edwards v. Lawson Paper Converters Ltd. (1984), 5 C.C.E.L. 99 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 53].

New Brunswick Electric Power Commission v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1733 (1978), 22 N.B.R.(2d) 364; 39 A.P.R. 364 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 53].

Makarchuk v. MidTransportation Services Ltd. (1985), 6 C.C.E.L. 169 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 53].

Thom v. Goodhost Foods Ltd. (1987), 17 C.C.E.L. 89 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 53].

Central Trust Co. v. Rafuse and Cordon, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 147; 69 N.R. 321; 75 N.S.R.(2d) 109; 186 A.P.R. 109, refd to. [para. 56].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Chitty on Contracts (25th Ed. 1983), p. 460 [para. 13].

Fridman, The Law of Contract in Canada (2nd Ed. 1986), p. 675 [para. 42].

Grossman, B. and Marcus, S., New Developments in Wrongful Dismissal Litigation (1982), 60 Can. Bar Rev. 656, p. 668 [para. 42].

Restatement on the Law of Contracts in the United States (2nd Ed.), s. 355 [para. 25].

Waddams, The Law of Damages (2nd Ed. 1983), pp. 562 [para. 16]; 576, 577 [para. 50].

Counsel:

F.A. Schroeder, for the appellant;

Robert H. Guile, Q.C., and D.G. Cowper, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Laxton, Pidgeon & Company, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the appellant;

Russell & DuMoulin, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard by Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ., on October 20, 1987.

On May 4, 1989, the Supreme Court delivered and filed the following opinions in both official languages:

McIntyre, J. - see paragraphs 1 to 29;

Wilson, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 30 to 62.

Beetz and Lamer, JJ., concurred with McIntyre, J.

L'Heureux-Dubé, J., concurred with Wilson, J.

Estey and Le Dain, JJ., took no part in the judgment.

To continue reading

Request your trial
930 practice notes
  • Coughlan et al. v. Westminer Canada Ltd. et al., (1994) 127 N.S.R.(2d) 241 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • 18 Enero 1994
    ...157]. Rhodenizer v. Rhodenizer (1953), 31 M.P.R. 127, refd to. [para. 158]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321; 58 D.L.R.(4th) 193; [1989] 4 W.W.R. 218; 36 B.C.L.R.(2d) 273; 90 C.L.L.C. 14,035; 25 C.C.E.L. 81, refd to. [para. Warner v. Ars......
  • McIntyre v. Grigg et al., (2006) 217 O.A.C. 217 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • 6 Noviembre 2006
    ...Snow (1985), 70 N.S.R.(2d) 422; 166 A.P.R. 422 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 55, footnote 3]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321, refd to. [paras. 56, Gerula v. Flores (1995), 83 O.A.C. 128 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 59]. Hill v. Church of Scientology of......
  • Phillip v. Whitecourt General Hospital et al., (2004) 359 A.R. 259 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 21 Octubre 2004
    ...1930 CarswellAlta 53; 25 Alta. L.R. 173 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 387, footnote 201]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 387, footnote Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701; 219 N.R. 161; 123 Man.R.(2d) 1; 159 ......
  • Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., 2016 SCC 29
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 14 Julio 2016
    ...86; Canadian National Railway Co. v. Benson, 2004 MBQB 210, 188 Man. R. (2d) 218; Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; Machtinger v. HOJ Industries Ltd., [1992] 1 S.C.R. 986; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. of Canada v. T. Eaton Co., [1956] S.C.R. 610; Sla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
864 cases
  • Coughlan et al. v. Westminer Canada Ltd. et al., (1994) 127 N.S.R.(2d) 241 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • 18 Enero 1994
    ...157]. Rhodenizer v. Rhodenizer (1953), 31 M.P.R. 127, refd to. [para. 158]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321; 58 D.L.R.(4th) 193; [1989] 4 W.W.R. 218; 36 B.C.L.R.(2d) 273; 90 C.L.L.C. 14,035; 25 C.C.E.L. 81, refd to. [para. Warner v. Ars......
  • McIntyre v. Grigg et al., (2006) 217 O.A.C. 217 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • 6 Noviembre 2006
    ...Snow (1985), 70 N.S.R.(2d) 422; 166 A.P.R. 422 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 55, footnote 3]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321, refd to. [paras. 56, Gerula v. Flores (1995), 83 O.A.C. 128 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 59]. Hill v. Church of Scientology of......
  • Phillip v. Whitecourt General Hospital et al., (2004) 359 A.R. 259 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 21 Octubre 2004
    ...1930 CarswellAlta 53; 25 Alta. L.R. 173 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 387, footnote 201]. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085; 94 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 387, footnote Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701; 219 N.R. 161; 123 Man.R.(2d) 1; 159 ......
  • Hoy v. Expedia Group Inc.,
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • 28 Noviembre 2022
    ...Co., 2002 SCC 18; Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130, Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085. [79] Richard v. Time Inc., 20011 SCC 8 at paras. 154-178. [80] Richard v. Time Inc., 20011 SCC 8 at paras. 175-180. [81] Richard v. Ti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 firm's commentaries
  • Torts That Flow From A Wrongful Dismissal Claim (Part 5 Of 6)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • 14 Octubre 2016
    ...Seminar Footnotes 1 1996 CanLII 10543 (AB QB), [1996] A.J. No. 1087 (QL) (Q.B.). 2 Vorvis v. Insurance Corp of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085 (S.C.C.). 3 CED Employment Law III.9.(d).(ii).P (Ontario)Employment Law (Ontario). 4 Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (1989), 36......
  • Check Out Time: Court Certifies Class Action For Dismissal Of Hotel Employees Due To The Pandemic
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • 3 Febrero 2022
    ...note 1 at para 156. 8. Ibid at para 159. 9. Ibid at para 169. 10. Ibid at para 65. 11. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 1085 at para 12. Escobar, supra note 1 at para 77. 13. Kerr v. Baranow, 2011 SCC 10 at para 32. 14. Escobar, supra note 1 at para 90. 15. CPA, s......
  • Check Out Time: Court Certifies Class Action For Dismissal Of Hotel Employees Due To The Pandemic
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • 3 Febrero 2022
    ...note 1 at para 156. 8. Ibid at para 159. 9. Ibid at para 169. 10. Ibid at para 65. 11. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 1085 at para 12. Escobar, supra note 1 at para 77. 13. Kerr v. Baranow, 2011 SCC 10 at para 32. 14. Escobar, supra note 1 at para 90. 15. CPA, s......
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (April 10 – 13, 2017)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • 25 Abril 2017
    ...to act in good faith when dismissing an employee. The decision in Keays overturned that in Vorvis v Insurance Corp of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 1085, in which the court held that damages for intangible harm in the employment context were only available if the employer committed an inde......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
60 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Large-Scale Claims Interjurisdictional Dimensions
    • 15 Junio 2005
    ................................................................................... 418 Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085, [1989] S.C.J. No. 46 ........................................................................................ 189 Voss v. Black & Decker ......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Pension Law. Third Edition
    • 5 Agosto 2021
    ...v Summit Logistics Inc, [2004] BCHRTD No 42 .......................... 274, 280 Vorvis v Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 SCR 1085, 58 DLR (4th) 193, 1989 CanLII 93 ................................... 16, 222 Wagner v Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, 2006 SKQB 347 .....................
  • The Settlement Process
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Insurance Law. Second Edition Enforcing Insurance Contracts
    • 23 Junio 2015
    ...“Damages for Mental Distress,” six justices of the Supreme Court of Canada expressly stood behind McIntyre J and described the 176 [1989] 1 SCR 1085 [ Vorvis ]. 177 Ibid at 1103. 178 Ibid at 1119. The Settlement Process 393 requirement for an independently actionable wrong espoused by him i......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Individual Employment Law. Second Edition
    • 16 Junio 2008
    ...v. Vancouver Port Corp. (1987), 21 B.C.L.R. (2d) 209 (S.C.) ............. 286 Vorvis v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1085, 58 D.L.R. (4th) 193, [1989] 4 W.W.R. 218, 25 C.C.E.L. 81 ..............................................89–90, 309, 320, 395, 402–3, 413 Vr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT