KLASSEN v CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY, 2023 ABCA
SLATTER, WAKELING AND ANTONIO JJA
13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
This was an Appeal from a Case Management Decision certifying a Class Action and denying Summary Dismissal of that Action. The Defendant was a railway company. In the Statement of Claim, the proposed class Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendant's sounding of train whistles at grade crossings in the County of Parkland amounted to a private nuisance.
To achieve certification of the Class Action, the proposed Plaintiffs were required to demonstrate, among other things, that the Statement of Claim disclosed a reasonable cause of Action. In that respect, the Court observed that the applicable test is whether it is plain and obvious, assuming the facts pleaded to be true, that each of the Plaintiff's pleaded claims disclose no reasonable cause of action. The Court added that a Court may refer to any documents or facts that are referred to in the Pleadings and that a Statement of Claim must always be assessed against the legal background, noting that the Statement of Claim pleads only facts, pursuant to Rule 13.6(2).
Applying the test, the Court held that the Statement of Claim did not disclose any reasonable cause of Action. As a result, the Appeal was allowed, and the certification Order was set aside. The Court did not consider the Defendant’s Appeal of the Summary Dismissal Order, since its conclusion on the certification Order rendered the issue moot.View CanLII Details