7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

Following a purchase and sale transaction, the Plaintiffs commenced an Action against the Defendants for unjust enrichment and wrongful dismissal, and the Defendants counterclaimed in debt and for breach of a non-competition clause and a breach of fiduciary duties. The Plaintiffs applied for Summary Judgment while the Defendants applied for Summary Dismissal.

Henderson J. considered the test for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule 7.3, stating that Summary Judgment is available “where there is no defence to the claim, or part of it, or where there is no merit to a claim, or part of it, or where the only issue is as to the amount to be awarded”. Henderson J. reviewed leading jurisprudence and noted that it is an appropriate remedy where there is no genuine issue for Trial based on the record. Further, Summary Judgment may be granted where the record allows the Court to make findings of fact, and draw inferences from those facts “in a way which permits the Court to arrive at a result which is fair and just for both parties and which is proportionate”.

Each of the Parties maintained that the Court could arrive at a fair and just result based on the record. Henderson J. held that a portion of the Counterclaim relating to allegations of breach of fiduciary duty could not be resolved where the evidence was conflicting and involved considerations of credibility.

Henderson J. dismissed the Application for Summary Judgment and granted the Application for Summary Dismissal in respect of all of the Plaintiffs’ Claims and some of the issues advanced in the Counterclaim.

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