Woolley J

7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Defendants applied for Summary Dismissal of the entirety of the Plaintiff’s claim which related to alleged breaches of seismic data license agreements (“License Agreements”). The substantive issues related to whether the Defendants’ disclosure of some of the information obtained pursuant to the License Agreements to third parties constituted a breach of those License Agreements, and whether any of the claims were barred by limitations.

Justice Woolley canvassed the relevant principles for Applications under Rule 7.3 set out in Weir-Jones Technical Services Incorporated v Purolator Courier Ltd, 2019 ABCA 49 (CanLII), and summarized the relevant analysis on this Application to be whether: i) the Defendants established that the record makes it possible to resolve the issues in dispute on a summary basis; ii) the Defendants have demonstrated that the facts proven on a balance of probabilities disclose that there is no merit to the Plaintiff’s claim; iii) if the Defendants establish the first two burdens, then whether the Plaintiff has shown a genuine issue requiring Trial “based on the nature of the issue or its merits”; and iv) whether the state of the record provided confidence for the Court to exercise its discretion to summarily dismiss some or all of the Plaintiff’s claims.

Justice Woolley found that the substantive issues in dispute related to contractual interpretation and the application of limitations legislation, which are issues well suited to summary consideration. With respect to each of the alleged contractual breaches, Justice Woolley held that the Defendants had established that the Plaintiff’s claims had no merit as either being permissible behaviour under the License Agreements or the claims being statute barred. Justice Woolley found that the Plaintiff did not provide any basis to establish a triable issue, noting that bare allegations did not suffice.

The Application for Summary Dismissal was granted.

View CanLII Details