7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

Pursuant to Rule 7.3, the Court dealt with the disposition of an Application for Summary Judgment on behalf of the Plaintiff and a Cross-Application for Summary Dismissal by the Defendant.

Ultimately, the Court noted that the record did not allow to it to make a fair disposition in a summary fashion of the Plaintiff’s claim, particularly on the issue of causation. Specifically, the Court held that an incomplete record, a dispute on material facts which could not be resolved confidently on the existing record, issues of credibility or the level of complexity of the case are all things that may render a matter inappropriate for determination by summary judgment and the Plaintiff’s claim had features of all of those and more.

Further, the Court noted that the Application sought partial Summary Judgment on some issues; however, held that even if the record was sufficient to allow it, partial summary judgment needs to provide some expediency to the lawsuit that would otherwise be lost. The Court assessed the advantages and disadvantages to the participants and found there were few efficiencies to be gained in granting partial Summary Judgment.

Regarding the Defendants’ Application for Summary Dismissal, the Court found that the claims against the Defendants arose from two very different sets of facts: (1) relating to the construction of the home; and (2) the project accounting. The Defendants argued that the claims relating to the construction were properly only against the corporation and not against the director thereof, and the accounting-related claims were barred by the Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12.

The Court held that the claims relating to the construction were dismissed against the Defendant director personally; however, it did not dismiss the accounting claims brought against the Defendant director.

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