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August 6, 2014

Court Grants Summary Judgment Against Party Bringing Motion

Courts seem to be embracing the "culture shift" advocated by the Supreme Court in Hryniak.

In King Lofts Toronto I Ltd. v. Emmons, 2014 ONCA 215 (C.A.), the plaintiff sued for solicitor's negligence in connection with a commercial real estate transaction.  The defendants brought a summary judgment motion to dismiss the claim on the basis of an expired limitation period.  The motions judge dismissed the motion, but went a step further, granting summary judgment for the plaintiffs on the basis that the defendants had acted negligently.

The defendants appealed and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.  It held that the evidence was clear that there was a duty to warn and the solicitor failed to do so.  The Court of Appeal held that "the principles of proportionality and sensible management of the court process support the judge's ruling". 

King Lofts shows a danger to bringing a summary judgment motion under the new Hryniak test.  Is this an unintended consequence of the new regime or in line with a goal of reducing the number of cases that need a full blown trial?

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