3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies

Case Summary

The Respondent driver examiner was subject to a one-year licence suspension imposed by the Transportation Safety Board. Rather than proceed to Judicial Review, the Respondent brought an Action in negligence and misfeasance in public office for damages against Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta. The Applicant sought to strike the Respondent’s Statement of Claim pursuant to Rule 3.68 based on abuse of process, collateral attack, and issue estoppel.

The Court was satisfied that the doctrine of issue estoppel was engaged, first noting that the decision of the Transportation Safety Board met the threshold requirement of a prior judicial determination. Justice Hopkins then proceeded to consider the overlap in the issue before the Transportation Safety Board and the Court, the fact that the parties to the proceedings were the same, and the fact that the decision of the Transportation Safety Board would be final, before exercising discretion to strike the Statement of Claim, holding that administrative proceedings were available to fully and fairly adjudicate the allegations raised. Accordingly, the Court deemed it unnecessary to consider the grounds of collateral attack and abuse of process.

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