3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies

Case Summary

This decision followed an Application and cross-Application previously heard by Master Birkett. Master Birkett had previously given the Court’s decision on the Application orally, and this written decision dealt with the cross-Application brought by the Defendants for an Order striking paragraphs of the Plaintiff’s Amended Statement of Claim that related to allegations of conspiracy and unlawful interference with economic relations. Master Birkett dismissed the cross-Application. Master Birkett observed that the primary issue was whether or not the conspiracy related claims in the Amended Statement of Claim should be struck on the basis that they merged with the prior defamation allegations.

Master Birkett noted that in an Application brought pursuant to Rule 3.68, the Court is to consider only the pleadings, and no evidence.

Master Birkett ultimately concluded that the pleadings disclosed a reasonable claim for conspiracy and unlawful interference with economic relations what was distinct from the previous allegations of defamation. Master Birkett decided not to apply the doctrine of “merger”, stating that, given the stage in the proceedings, it would be more appropriate to leave such a decision to the Trial Judge.

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