36388    Gilles Gargantiel v. Attorney General of Quebec

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                Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec

Insurance – Automobile insurance – Civil procedure

On October 18, 2009, just after 6:00 P.M., the Applicant lost control of his automobile and careened off the highway into a patch of bushes next to a railway track. A few minutes later, the Sûreté du Québec (“SQ”) was notified of the accident by the automobile’s OnStar system with precise GPS coordinates of the location of the accident and the Applicant’s automobile. In the two hours following the accident, the SQ agents failed to locate the Applicant and his automobile, never having stopped to search at the precise location indicated to them by the GPS coordinates and ostensibly annoyed by the OnStar system’s repeated calls. The search was called off, and the Applicant was only found approximately two days after, in a semi-conscious state, by a railway worker doing a routine inspection of the tracks. The Applicant was subsequently treated for severe injuries resulting, inter alia, in the partial amputation of his right leg due to frostbite. The Applicant instituted legal proceedings for damages against the Respondent alleging negligence on the part of the SQ agents. In response, the Respondent filed a motion to have the Applicant’s action dismissed on grounds that the Applicant had already been entirely indemnified in accordance with the no‑fault public automobile insurance scheme set forth under the Automobile Insurance Act, CQLR, c. A-25 (the “Act”). The Superior Court of Quebec granted the motion to dismiss and the appeal was dismissed.

36505    Le Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) inc. v. Attorney General of Canada

Taxation – Income tax – Contract

After acquiring an American pharmacy chain in 2004, the applicant, Le Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) inc., was faced with a problem with the accounting presentation of its American investment because of fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. and Canadian dollars. In February 2005, in an attempt to find a tax-neutral solution to its currency hedge problem, it orchestrated a series of transactions whose net effect was to transform its net U.S. investment into a net debt. The tax consequences anticipated and agreed to by Le Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) inc. and The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA Inc. were set out in the documentation formalizing the transactions.

In 2010, following an audit for the taxation years 2005 to 2007, the Canada Revenue Agency notified the applicant that the transactions as described in the accounting scenario generated $2.2 million in additional taxes for the three years in question. The documentation solved the currency hedge problem but also had tax consequences that were neither foreseen nor agreed to by the parties.

Given that the common intention of the parties was incorrectly reflected in the documentation and that its consent was therefore vitiated, the applicant filed a motion in the Superior Court for an order to rectify the books and records and for declaratory judgment. The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA Inc. consented to the motion for rectification, whereas the Attorney General of Canada objected to it, arguing that the requested corrections did not meet the conditions for rectification. The Superior Court granted the Motion for an order to rectify the books and records. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the motion for order to rectify books and records.

36385    Thérèse Godbout, Louis Godbout, Iris Godbout v. Jean-Maurice Pagé, Anick Dulong, Moreno Morelli, Martin Lavigne, Jacques Toueg, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal

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                Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, Attorney General of Quebec, Gilles Gargantiel

Insurance – Automobile insurance

On January 10, 1999, the applicant Thérèse Godbout was involved in an automobile accident, following which she was transferred to the respondent Hôpital du Sacré‑Cœur de Montréal under the care of the respondent physicians. While in hospital, she underwent a double amputation below the knee and suffered permanent neurological impairment to her right hand. The applicant and her brother and daughter brought an action in damages against the respondents, alleging that they had failed to assess, monitor and treat her condition properly, resulting in an aggravation of her injury and causing separate injuries that were not a logical and foreseeable consequence of the automobile accident. In addition to that action, the applicant collected and continues to collect compensation from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec under s. 83.57 of the Automobile Insurance Act, CQLR, c. A‑25 (“the Act”). Before trial, the parties jointly asked the Superior Court to determine whether s. 83.57 of the Act barred the applicants’ action in damages. The Superior Court found that that s. 83.57 of Act did not prevent civil liability action against respondents if applicants able to prove separate fault and injury. The appeal was allowed.