STABILIZED WATER OF CANADA INC v BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA, 2019 ABCA 146
Watson, VelDhuis and Hughes JJA
4.31: Application to deal with delay
The Appellant appealed the Order of a Chambers Judge which had dismissed an Appeal of a Master’s Order to strike the Action pursuant to Rule 4.31 for inordinate delay. The Action related to events which had occurred between the spring of 2000 and October of 2002. The Respondent had requested certain disclosure from the Appellants in December of 2014 and maintained that they would not question the Appellants’ representatives without receiving the disclosure. The Appellants did not provide the requested disclosure and no further steps were taken in the litigation until the Respondent applied to strike the claim for long delay in February of 2016.
The Master had found that the Appellants had a duty, and the means under the Rules, to continue the Action moving forward, and that they failed to do so. The Master held that the delay was inordinate and inexcusable. The Master also found that the Respondent had suffered serious prejudice as nearly all of the individuals connected to the events in question were “gone or deceased”. The Chambers Judge concurred with the Master’s conclusions.
The Court of Appeal held that the Appeal was subject to a deferential standard of review, and that neither the Master nor the Chambers Judge had made any palpable and overriding error, and that there was no evidence on the record which excused the delay. The Appeal was dismissed.View CanLII Details