3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies

Case Summary

This was an Application to strike the Statement of Claim of the Plaintiff pursuant to Rule 3.68. The Statement of Claim related to alleged mishandling of the Plaintiff’s claim for benefits from the Defendant, the Workers’ Compensation Board. In addition to disputing the Defendant’s decision to deny benefits, the Plaintiff alleged various civil causes of action against the Defendant.

The Court struck the Statement of Claim on the basis that it lacked jurisdiction to review the Defendant’s decision outside the legislatively mandated review process. The remaining causes of action were struck for failure to plead vital facts in support of legal conclusions or in recognition of absolute statutory and other defences.

In connection with its determination, the Court noted that Applications to strike Statements of Claim place a high onus on the Applicant and that Statements of Claim should be read generously to allow for drafting deficiencies and to protect causes of action which are supported by pleaded facts, even where the cause of action, itself, is not properly pleaded. The Court also noted that there is an exception to the rule that the Court must accept allegations of fact as true where the allegations are based on assumptions or speculations, or where they are patently ridiculous or incapable of proof, adding that this is particularly so where few facts are pleaded amidst many allegations made against a large entity.

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