2009 fc 896; September 11, 2009
In the Court below, the Prothonotary refused to strike portions of the pleading relating to economic torts of inducing breach of contract and interference with economic relations and claims against corporate officers. The motions judge upheld the decision of the Prothonotary regarding the economic tort allegations that serve as a foundation for a claim brought under sections 45 and 36 of the Competition Act. To the extent that the tortious conduct could help establish a statutory cause of action, it is necessarily incidental to the Court's jurisdiction and may represent the "something more" required to establish a breach of section 45 of the Competition Act. Furthermore, these types of allegations are relevant to arguments that the parties should not be entitled to equitable relief.
However, the counterclaim went further than is permitted as it did not restrict the tort allegations to the statutory claim for relief and actually sought damages for inducing breach of contract and tortious interference with economic relations. These pleadings fall well outside the jurisdiction of the Court and were struck.
In addition, the Court refused to strike paragraphs from the claim regarding personal liability of the directors as it found that they were sufficiently pleaded. Even if the allegations were not sufficiently pleaded, this would be an appropriate situation to allow an amendment to the counterclaim rather than striking the counterclaim.
The full text of the decision can be found at: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2009/2009fc896/2009fc896.html