13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
13.7: Pleadings: other requirements

Case Summary

When determining whether the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim pleaded all of the necessary elements of negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment as required under Rules 13.6 and 13.7, Kiss J. cited Love v Parmar, 2023 ABKB 30 (“Parmar”) for a more “realistic and pragmatic” approach.

Specifically, while recognizing the need for Defendants to understand the case against them at the pleadings stage, the Court must also recognize that not every claim is capable of being pleaded with the same degree of particularity, and that subsequent stages in the litigation process may also function to clarify and narrow the issues.

Following the practical approach in Parmar, Kiss J. found that the Statement of Claim contained sufficient particulars for the Defendants to understand that the Plaintiff was pleading negligent misrepresentation and the basis for that claim.

Kiss J. further held that, even if the initial pleadings were deficient, there was no prejudice or surprise to the Defendants. By the time the Defendants filed their Statement of Defence, they clearly understood the specifics of this cause of action. The Statement of Defence outlined their position with respect to each of the necessary elements of a misrepresentation claim.

Applying the same approach in Parmar, Kiss J. held that the Plaintiff failed to prove its claim of unjust enrichment. The Plaintiff’s complaint about unjust enrichment was found in effect a claim of fraud, which, as per Rules 13.6(3)(d) and 13.7, was a serious allegation and therefore must be explicitly pleaded and the proof of which involved a high burden. Further, the Plaintiff could not use complaints about the sales in the context of the cause of action of unjust enrichment as a backdoor to raise allegations of fraud, which had not been pleaded.

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