37873   Transport Desgagnés Inc., Desgagnés Transartik Inc., Navigation Desgagnés Inc., Lloyds Underwriters and Institute of Lloyds Underwriters (ILU) Companies Subscribing to Policy Number B0856 09h0016 and Aim Insurance (Barbados) SCC v. Wärtsilä Canada Inc. and Wärtsilä Nederland B.V.  (Que.)

Constitutional law – Division of powers – Maritime law

In 2006, Desgagnés purchased marine engine parts for one of its vessels from Wärtsilä. The parts were delivered and installed in 2007. The engine failed in 2009, engendering damages of $5,661,830.33 for Desgagnés. The contract limited Wärtsilä’s liability in both scope and time. Desgagnés instituted proceedings against Wärtsilä for the recovery of its damages.

The Superior Court of Québec ordered Wärtsilä to fully indemnify Desgagnés, ruling that provincial law governed the dispute, and that the contractual limitations of liability were rendered inapplicable by the Québec Civil Code’s provisions on warranties. The majority of the Court of Appeal of Québec set aside the trial judgment, ruling that Canadian maritime law exclusively governed the dispute, and that the contractual limitations of liability were thus applicable. The dissent sided with the Superior Court’s conclusions.


37872   L. L. v. Her Majesty the Queen              (Que.)

Criminal law – Indecent assault – Incest

The applicant was convicted of indecent assault, incest and sexual assault, including one count of sexual assault with a weapon. The offences were committed against his minor sister between October 1982 and May 1984. The applicant claimed that he had a romantic relationship with his sister. In the assessment of the evidence at trial, the main issue was therefore whether the sexual relations were consensual. The trial judge rejected the applicant’s version and the versions given by the defence witnesses. He accepted the victim’s version instead, despite certain contradictions relating to secondary facts. The judge also dismissed the applicant’s motion for a stay of proceedings. In his view, the applicant had failed to establish actual prejudice to his right to make full answer and defence as a result of the destruction of certain files held by the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse and a local community service centre. The judge sentenced the applicant to a total of four years’ imprisonment. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

37929   Lynda Hall Munn v. Commission de la fonction publique of Quebec             (Que.)

Administrative law – Appeals – Standard of review

The applicant Ms. Munn was dismissed by her employer, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion of Quebec. She filed three appeals with the Commission de la fonction publique (“CFP”) challenging the validity of her dismissal. In a series of emails, she eventually asked the CFP to close her files. The application for leave to appeal concerns the validity of her discontinuance. The CFP recognized that a discontinuance may be declared invalid where there is no consent or where the consent of the discontinuing party is defective. It applied arts. 1398 to 1401 C.C.Q. and concluded that Ms. Munn’s discontinuance was free and voluntary in the circumstances. On administrative review before another panel of the CFP, Ms. Munn alleged breaches of her right to be heard as well as procedural defects. Those arguments were not accepted. The Superior Court found that the CFP’s two decisions were reasonable, and the Court of Appeal dismissed Ms. Munn’s motion for leave to appeal.

37938    Yolanda Girao v. Lynn Cunningham               (Ont.)

Civil Procedure – Appeal – Leave to Appeal

Ms. Girao was injured in a motor vehicle accident and a jury awarded her general damages and damages for past loss of income. The trial judge dismissed her claim for non-pecuniary losses.  Ms. Girao filed a notice of appeal and sought an order for leave to perfect the appeal without full compliance with the Court of Appeal’s filing rules. A judge dismissed the motion. Ms. Girao filed a motion seeking to vary that order and seeking leave to file a digital audio recording of the trial proceedings instead of a transcript. A panel of the Court of Appeal dismissed the motion.