Wellington v. Ontario,

JurisdictionOntario
JudgeMoldaver, Sharpe and Armstrong, JJ.A.
Neutral Citation2011 ONCA 274
Citation(2011), 277 O.A.C. 318 (CA),2011 ONCA 274,105 OR (3d) 81,333 DLR (4th) 236,81 CCLT (3d) 230,[2011] OJ No 1615 (QL),277 OAC 318,[2011] O.J. No 1615 (QL),277 O.A.C. 318,(2011), 277 OAC 318 (CA),105 O.R. (3d) 81,333 D.L.R. (4th) 236
Date22 February 2011
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)

Wellington v. Ont. (2011), 277 O.A.C. 318 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2011] O.A.C. TBEd. AP.019

Simone Wellington, Alexis Wellington-Watt (by her Litigation Guardian, Simone Wellington), and The Estate of Duane Michael Lenroy Christian (plaintiffs/respondents) v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario and James Ramsey (defendants/appellants)

(C52691; 2011 ONCA 274)

Indexed As: Wellington et al. v. Ontario et al.

Ontario Court of Appeal

Moldaver, Sharpe and Armstrong, JJ.A.

April 8, 2011.

Summary:

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigated the death of 15 year old Duane Christian who was shot by a police officer. The plaintiffs (Duane's mother, his sister and his estate) sued the province of Ontario and the Deputy Director of the SIU, alleging that the SIU conducted a negligent investigation of the circumstances of Duane's death. The defendants moved to strike out the statement of claim as disclosing no cause of action pursuant to rule 21.01(1)(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. At issue was whether the SIU owed the plaintiffs a private law duty of care when it conducted the investigation of the two officers involved in Duane's death. The motion judge dismissed the motion, holding that it was not plain and obvious that the plaintiffs' claim could not succeed and that a full evidentiary record was required. The defendants appealed.

The Ontario Divisional Court, Swinton, J., dissenting, in a decision reported at (2010), 263 O.A.C. 151, dismissed the appeal. The defendants appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the action.

Police - Topic 5031

Actions against police - Negligence - Conduct of investigation (incl. negligent investigation) - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigated the death of 15 year old Duane Christian who was shot by a police officer - The plaintiffs (Duane's mother, his sister and his estate) sued the province of Ontario and the Deputy Director of the SIU, alleging that the SIU conducted a negligent investigation of the circumstances of Duane's death - The defendants moved to strike out the statement of claim as disclosing no cause of action pursuant to rule 21.01(1)(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure - At issue was whether the SIU owed the plaintiffs a private law duty of care when it conducted the investigation of the two officers involved in Duane's death - The motion judge dismissed the motion, holding that it was not plain and obvious that the plaintiffs' claim could not succeed and that a full evidentiary record was required - The defendants appealed - The Ontario Divisional Court dismissed the appeal - The defendants appealed - The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the action - The court stated that "this is not a case where a trial is required to resolve the duty of care issue. A duty of care has been excluded by prior decisions of this court, the British Columbia Court of Appeal and numerous trial courts" - The plaintiffs also failed to establish a prima facie duty of care under the first part of the "Coopers-Anns" test.

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Failure to disclose a cause of action - [See Police - Topic 5031 ].

Torts - Topic 81

Negligence - Duty of care - Requirement that duty be owed to plaintiff - [See Police - Topic 5031 ].

Torts - Topic 9154

Duty of care - Particular relationships - Claims against public officials, authorities or boards - Police officers and authorities - [See Police - Topic 5031 ].

Cases Noticed:

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

Hunt v. T & N plc et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959; 117 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 14].

Nash v. Ontario (1995), 27 O.R.(3d) 1 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

Anns v. Merton London Borough Council, [1978] A.C. 728 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 15].

Cooper v. Hobart - see Cooper v. Registrar of Mortgage Brokers (B.C.) et al.

Cooper v. Registrar of Mortgage Brokers (B.C.) et al., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 537; 277 N.R. 113; 160 B.C.A.C. 268; 261 W.A.C. 268; 2001 SCC 79, refd to. [para. 15].

Childs v. Desormeaux et al., [2006] 1 S.C.R. 643; 347 N.R. 328; 210 O.A.C. 315, refd to. [para. 16].

Attis et al. v. Canada (Minister of Health) et al. (2008), 254 O.A.C. 91; 93 O.R.(3d) 35; 2008 ONCA 660, refd to. [para. 16].

Norris v. Gatien - see Norris et al. v. Loranger et al.

Norris et al. v. Loranger et al. (2001), 151 O.A.C. 394; 56 O.R.(3d) 441 (C.A.), leave to appeal refused (2002), 295 N.R. 198; 170 O.A.C. 400 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 17].

Nielsen v. Kamloops (City) and Hughes, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 2; 54 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 18].

Hill et al. v. Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board et al., [2007] 3 S.C.R. 129; 368 N.R. 1; 230 O.A.C. 260; 2007 SCC 41, refd to. [para. 19].

Beckstead v. Ottawa (City) Chief of Police, [1997] O.A.C. Uned. 568; 37 O.R.(3d) 62 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 19].

Jane Doe v. Board of Police Commissioners of Metropolitan Toronto et al. (1990), 40 O.A.C. 161; 74 O.R.(2d) 225 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 19].

Thompson v. Saanich (District) Police Department - see Thompson v. Webber et al.

Thompson v. Webber et al. (2010), 288 B.C.A.C. 233; 488 W.A.C. 233; 320 D.L.R.(4th) 496 (C.A.), consd. [para. 20].

Fockler et al. v. Toronto (City) et al., [2007] O.T.C. Uned. 9; 43 M.P.L.R.(4th) 141 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 20].

Project 360 Investments Ltd. et al. v. Toronto Police Services Board et al., [2009] O.T.C. Uned. D97 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 20].

Spencer v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2010), 304 N.S.R.(2d) 1; 960 A.P.R. 1; 2010 NSSC 446, refd to. [para. 20].

Petryshyn v. Alberta, 2003 ABQB 86, refd to. [para. 20].

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, dist. [para. 22].

Healey v. Lakeridge Health Corp. et al. (2011), 273 O.A.C. 179; 103 O.R.(3d) 402; 2011 ONCA 55, refd to. [para. 31].

Mustapha v. Culligan of Canada Ltd., [2008] 2 S.C.R. 114; 375 N.R. 81; 238 O.A.C. 130, refd to. [para. 31].

Polowin (David) Real Estate Ltd. v. Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co. (2005), 199 O.A.C. 266; 76 O.R.(3d) 161 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34].

Syl Apps Secure Treatment Centre v. B.D. - see B.D. et al. v. Children's Aid Society of Halton Region et al.

B.D. et al. v. Children's Aid Society of Halton Region et al., [2007] 3 S.C.R. 83; 365 N.R. 302; 227 O.A.C. 161; 2007 SCC 38, refd to. [para. 39].

Williams v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2009), 249 O.A.C. 150; 95 O.R.(3d) 401 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 39].

Edwards et al. v. Law Society of Upper Canada et al., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 562; 277 N.R. 145; 153 O.A.C. 388; 2001 SCC 80, refd to. [para. 42].

Eliopoulos et al. v. Ontario (Minister of Health and Long-Term Care) (2006), 217 O.A.C. 69; 82 O.R.(3d) 321 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 44].

River Valley Poultry Farm Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2009), 248 O.A.C. 222; 95 O.R.(3d) 1; 2009 ONCA 326, refd to. [para. 44].

Fullowka et al. v. Pinkerton's of Canada et al., [2010] 1 S.C.R. 132; 398 N.R. 20; 474 A.R. 1; 479 W.A.C. 1; 2010 SCC 5, dist. [para. 49].

Heaslip Estate v. Mansfield Ski Club Inc. et al. (2009), 252 O.A.C. 1; 96 O.R.(3d) 401 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 50].

Counsel:

Lise Favreau, James Kendik and Jeremy Glick, for the appellants;

Peter Rosenthal, for the respondents;

Kevin A. McGivney and David H. Elman, for the intervener, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police;

Julian N. Falconer and Julian K. Roy, for the intervener, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto Inc.

This appeal was heard on February 22, 2011, before Moldaver, Sharpe and Armstrong, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The following judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered by Sharpe, J.A., and was released on April 8, 2011.

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58 practice notes
  • Ontario Court Of Appeal Summaries (March 18-22, 2019)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • April 4, 2019
    ...224 Keywords: Torts, Negligent Investigation, Duty of Care, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Limitation Periods, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274 Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONCA 233 Keywords: Wills and Estates, Constructive Trusts, Civil Procedure, Appointment of Estate Trustee During Li......
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    ...Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] S.C.R. 121, Madadi v. Nichols, 2021 BCCA 10, Ojeikere v. Ojeikere, 2018 ONCA 372, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, Cooper v. Hobart, 2001 SCC 79, Deloitte & Touche v. Livent Inc. (Receiver of), 2017 SCC 63, Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 2......
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    • February 23, 2021
    ...2020 ONCA 202, Cooper v. The Laundry Lounge, Inc., 2020 ONCA 166, Hunt v. Carey Canada Inc., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, leave to appeal refused, [2011] S.C.C.A. No. 258, Grand River Enterprises Six Nations Ltd. v. Attorney General (Canada), 2017 ONCA 526, R. ......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Torts. Sixth Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...of), [1971] SCR 957, 22 DLR (3d) 470 .......................................................... 226–27 Wellington v Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274.............................................................. 242 Wenden v Trikha (1991), 116 AR 81, 8 CCLT (2d) 138 (QB), additional reasons (1992), 1 ......
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  • Arora et al. v. Whirlpool Canada LP et al., 2013 ONCA 657
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    ...[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. 14]. Wellington et al. v. Ontario et al. (2011), 277 O.A.C. 318; 105 O.R.(3d) 81; 2011 ONCA 274, leave to appeal refused (2011), 428 N.R. 394; 291 O.A.C. 399 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 14]. Canadian Na......
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    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • December 13, 2018
    ...group of potential victims to a specific threat, or to a potential victim who raises fears about being victimized: Wellington v Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274 at para 20, 333 DLR (4th) 236, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 34294 (13 October 2011); Gilchrist v Levin, 2016 ABQB 474 at para 18, 42 Alta......
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    • August 22, 2012
    ...General) 2009 ONCA 378 (CanLII), (2009), 95 O.R. (3d) 401, [2009] O.J. No. 1819, 2009 ONCA 378, at para. 10; Wellington v. Ontario 2011 ONCA 274 (CanLII), (2011), 105 O.R. (3d) 81, [2011] O.J. No. 1615, 2011 ONCA 274, at para. 14. A Common Law Duty of Care [19] In Hill, Mr. Hill had been in......
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    • October 1, 2014
    ...v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2009), 249 O.A.C. 150; 2009 ONCA 378, dist. [para. 135]. Wellington et al. v. Ontario et al. (2011), 277 O.A.C. 318; 2011 ONCA 274, dist. [para. Kakavas v. Crown Melbourne Ltd., [2013] HCA 25, dist. [para. 137]. Walsh v. Atlantic Lottery Corp. et al. (20......
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5 firm's commentaries
  • Ontario Court Of Appeal Summaries (March 18-22, 2019)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • April 4, 2019
    ...224 Keywords: Torts, Negligent Investigation, Duty of Care, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Limitation Periods, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274 Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONCA 233 Keywords: Wills and Estates, Constructive Trusts, Civil Procedure, Appointment of Estate Trustee During Li......
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (July 26-30)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • August 2, 2021
    ...Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] S.C.R. 121, Madadi v. Nichols, 2021 BCCA 10, Ojeikere v. Ojeikere, 2018 ONCA 372, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, Cooper v. Hobart, 2001 SCC 79, Deloitte & Touche v. Livent Inc. (Receiver of), 2017 SCC 63, Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 2......
  • COURT OF APPEAL SUMMARIES (February 15 ' February 19, 2021)
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    • Mondaq Canada
    • February 23, 2021
    ...2020 ONCA 202, Cooper v. The Laundry Lounge, Inc., 2020 ONCA 166, Hunt v. Carey Canada Inc., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, leave to appeal refused, [2011] S.C.C.A. No. 258, Grand River Enterprises Six Nations Ltd. v. Attorney General (Canada), 2017 ONCA 526, R. ......
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    • April 21, 2018
    ...v. Toronto (Police Services Board), 2018 ONCA 368 Keywords: Torts, Negligent Investigation, Duty of Care, Police, Wellington v. Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth (Regional Municipality) Police Services Board, 2007 SCC 41, Civil Procedure, Striking Pleadings, No Reasonable ......
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3 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Torts. Sixth Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...of), [1971] SCR 957, 22 DLR (3d) 470 .......................................................... 226–27 Wellington v Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274.............................................................. 242 Wenden v Trikha (1991), 116 AR 81, 8 CCLT (2d) 138 (QB), additional reasons (1992), 1 ......
  • 2011 year in review: constitutional developments in Canadian criminal law.
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    • University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review Vol. 70 No. 2, March 2012
    • March 22, 2012
    ...pension plan Paulsson v Cooper, 2011 ONCA 150 , 105 Explained common law test OR (3d) 28. for assumed jurisdiction Wellington v Ontario, 2011 ONCA 274, No duty of care owed by 105 OR (3d) 81 . police investigation unit to family of victim; duty owed to public as a whole Maccaroni v Kelly,......
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    • Irwin Books The Law of Torts. Sixth Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...and discharged their duties to the Special Investigations Unit in its investigation of the fatal shooting. But see Wellington v Ontario , 2011 ONCA 274: the Special Investigation Unit was not under a duty of care to victims or to their families. Its duty in making an investigation was publi......

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