7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

Andrea Scherle and Stacy Rachkewich (the “Plaintiffs”) alleged that they and others suffered financial loss and damages arising out of their dealings with the Defendant, Treadz Auto Group Inc. (“Treadz”). Treadz operated a used car dealership in Calgary, Alberta. The Plaintiffs alleged that their damages were due to the actions and/or inactions of the following Defendants: Treadz and its principal, Sean O’Brien (collectively, the “Treadz Defendants”); Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta as represented by the Ministry of Service Alberta (“Service Alberta”); and the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (“AMVIC”).

Both Service Alberta and AMVIC brought Summary Dismissal Applications pursuant to Rule 7.3. Justice Campbell thoroughly reviewed the relevant jurisprudence on Summary Judgment and the law on negligence claims brought against public bodies. Campbell J. noted that there were no evidentiary gaps or material facts in dispute and that the existing record was sufficient to allow an adjudication of the issues between the Plaintiffs, AMVIC, and Service Alberta that was fair and just to the parties. Justice Campbell found that Service Alberta and AMVIC had satisfied their burden of demonstrating, on a balance of probabilities, that there was no merit to the Plaintiffs’ claim against them as neither body owed a private law duty of care to the Plaintiffs. Further, the Plaintiffs had not demonstrated that there was a genuine issue requiring Trial.

Justice Campbell also addressed the Plaintiffs’ Application under the Class Proceedings Act, SA, 2003, c C-16.5 (the “CPA”) to certify the Action. Campbell J. concluded that the Plaintiffs had met all of the requirements of section 5(1) of the CPA in respect of the Action as against the Treadz Defendants and certified the class proceeding on that basis. Justice Campbell noted that, had viable claims against either AMVIC or Service Alberta been grounded, then the Plaintiffs would have also met all of the requirements of section 5(1) and the Action would have been certified as a class proceeding accordingly. Therefore, Justice Campbell granted AMVIC’s and Service Alberta’s Summary Dismissal Applications and certified the Action as against the Treadz Defendants alone as a class proceeding.

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