SHALLOW GAS DRILLING CORP v LEGACY OIL & GAS INC, 2015 ABQB 606
6.14: Appeal from master’s judgment or order
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
The Plaintiff commenced a Claim against the Defendant for breach of contract, negligence, and unjust enrichment in connection with an agreement for drilling test wells. The Defendant successfully applied before a Master for Summary Dismissal of the Claim, and the Plaintiff appealed.
An essential fact in dispute was whether the test wells were drilled to the proper depth pursuant to the agreement. The Plaintiff sought to enter a new Affidavit by a geological expert sworn after the Summary Judgment Decision was rendered. Justice Bensler noted that, pursuant to Rule 6.14(3), new evidence may be admissible on an Appeal from a Master’s Decision if the Judge hearing the Appeal is of the opinion that the new evidence is relevant and material. Bensler J. stated that litigants are not permitted to call evidence, including expert evidence, on the meaning of a contract; therefore, the new Affidavit was not relevant and material because it essentially provided an interpretation of the agreement.
Justice Bensler then considered whether the Master erred in granting the Defendant’s Application for Summary Dismissal. Citing Rule 7.3 and prior leading authority, Her Ladyship stated that Summary Judgment is appropriate for determining issues of law and then considered whether the Defendant met the threshold of proving that the Plaintiff’s Claim had no merit. Based on the facts of this case, Bensler J. held that the Plaintiff’s Claim had no merit and dismissed the Appeal.View CanLII Details