Moen J

1.1: What these rules do
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
7.1: Application to resolve particular questions or issues

Case Summary

This was an Application to sever liability related to three Actions, all arising out of the same collision, as well as an Application to have the liability portion of all three Actions heard together. The Applicant argued that Rule 7.1 does away with the old “exceptional case” test from the former Rules of Court, in favour of a more lenient analysis. Moen J. addressed the application of Rule 7.1 and referred to Envision Edmonton Opportunities Society v Edmonton (City), 2011 ABQB 29. Moen J. followed the analysis set out in Envision, which provides that the Court must first look to Rule 7.1 and determine if the threshold is met for severance and then subsequently look at the case as a whole to determine whether the Foundational Rules for cost effectiveness and timeliness, among other things, would be met by the severance. Moen J. stipulated that, as in Envision, the test set out in Rule 7.1 is in three parts and those parts are disjunctive, meaning that there is a requirement that the Court find only one of them to move on to considering the impact of the Foundational Rules on a severance Application.

Moen J. found that severing the liability issue would save expense, would dispose of all or part of the claim and would substantially shorten the Trial. Her Ladyship determined that the test for severance had been met. Moen J. then turned to the Foundational Rules, finding that severance of the liability portion of the three Actions would lead to the quickest means of resolving the claim and would encourage settlement of the damages portions of the Actions.

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