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Wallace & Bad Faith & Moral & Mental Distress Damages

Supreme Court of Canada denies leave to appeal in Soost v. Merrill Lynch Canada employment termination case

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied leave to appeal of the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in Merrill Lynch Canada Inc. v. Soost, 2010 ABCA 251.

The trial judge in this case had determined that the employer did not have just cause to terminate Mr. Soost's employment and had awarded him damages as follows:

  • $600,000 on account of his notice period; and
  • $1.6 million in damages to his reputation and book of business or goodwill. This award was made pursuant to the principles expressed in Honda v. Keays 2008 SCC 39.

On appeal, the Alberta Court of Appeal quashed the $1.6 million damages award. (The notice period damages were not appealed).

Bombardier ordered to cease applying US national security standards when processing training requests for pilots

Jurisdiction: - Quebec
Sector: - Transportation

In Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse c. Bombardier inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), 2010 QCTDP 16, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ordered Bombardier to cease applying US national security standards when processing training requests for pilots seeking Canadian licences.

Aldona Gudas, a lawyer at Blakes, has written a summary of the decision (which is in English) in a Blakes bulletin that can be found here: "Bombardier to Pay Damages Under Quebec Human Rights Tribunal Decision" (February 18, 2011).

In her article, Ms. Gudas states that this decision:
 read more »

BC Court of Appeal overturns award of $20,000 in bad faith compensatory damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In a post on June 19, 2010 ("Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages"), I summarized the BC Supreme Court's decision in Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833.

In that decision, the trial judge awarded the employee $20,000 in damages for the manner of dismissal, and the employer's conduct thereafter.  read more »

“'I’m Being Sued For What?!' Deconstructing the Different Damages in an Employee’s Statement of Claim"

Genny Na and Naomi E. Calla, lawyers at Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto, have prepared a paper entitled,  “I’m Being Sued For What?!” Deconstructing the Different Damages in an Employee’s Statement of Claim".

The paper was written for the firm's 13th Annual Labour & Employment Group Symposium held on November 4, 2010.

The authors have attached to the paper an extremely useful, and comprehensive, chart that lists court decisions in Canada from 1984-2010 where "excess damages" (aggravated, bad faith, punitive, etc.) have been awarded.

Supervisor's defamatory appraisal of dismissed employee protected by qualified privilege

In Dawydiuk v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2010 BCCA 353, the BC Court of Appeal addressed whether the contents of an email written by a dismissed employee's supervisor were defamatory and , if so, whether they were  protected by the defence of qualified privilege.

Background 

Ms. Dawydiuk began her employment with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia ("ICBC") in 1988 as a clerk. At the time of her dismissal in 2004, she was 38 years-old and in a managerial position.

Ms. Dawydiuk had been off work since June 2003, first on a sick leave and then on a maternity/parental leave.  She was scheduled to return to work on October 4, 2004.

On July 5, 2004, while still on leave, Ms.Dawydiuk was phoned by her supervisor and advised of a restructuring that had resulted in her position being eliminated. Her supervisor advised her of two other available managerial positions, however, and asked her to let him know which one she would like.  read more »

Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833, the court awarded the plaintiff/former employee $20,000 in bad faith/unfair dealing damages because, among other factors:

  • the employer only tried to contact the employee twice after a fire destroyed her home before assuming she had quit; and
  • the employer's lawyer had attacked the plaintiff's reputation and had undertaken a generally aggressive tone in his correspondence with the plaintiff's lawyer.

Background

The plaintiff had worked as a clerk in the employer's meat department for 9.5 years. She earned $13.10/hour.  She had a Grade 12 education, was 52 years old and had a "good record" at work.

Triggering Event

On February 18, 2009, the plaintiff's mobile home was destroyed by a fire. She phoned her supervisor the next day to advise that she would be coming into work as scheduled that day, and did not know when she would be returning to work.  read more »