36363   Tajedin Getahun v. Blake Moore

Torts – Negligence – Medical malpractice

Following a motorcycle accident, the respondent was treated by the applicant, an orthopedic surgeon, for a fracture to his right wrist. A full circumferential cast was applied to the wrist and forearm. The respondent suffered permanent damage to the muscles in his arm due to compartment syndrome that he alleged was caused by the applicant’s negligence in the application of a full cast. The trial judge found that the application of the full circumferential cast was a breach of the standard of care and had caused the compartment syndrome to develop. She ordered $350,000 in damages. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

36443   Serge Faucher v. Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions

Criminal law – Private informations

In 2014, the Court of Québec dismissed several private complaints filed by the applicant Mr. Faucher against three lawyers, one Superior Court judge and three Court of Appeal judges who had all played a part in a medical malpractice suit brought by Mr. Faucher against a chiropractor. Mr. Faucher had alleged that the lawyers had made and used a false document and had worked together to mislead the court. He had also alleged that the Superior Court judge had used the false document. Mr. Faucher then filed a motion for certiorari, which the Superior Court dismissed, noting that the proceeding was more like a motion for mandamus. The Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Faucher’s motion for an extension of time to appeal that decision. In the Court’s opinion, [TRANSLATION] “the proceedings and the oral submissions [of Mr. Faucher] raise[d] no serious ground of appeal that could be heard by a three judge panel”. The Court also found that the ends of justice did not require that the motion for an extension of time be allowed.

36453   Roch Guimont v. RNC Média Inc. (CHOI-FM 98,1) and Cogeco Diffusion Inc. (CJMF-FM 93)

Defamation – Damage to reputation

The applicant was arrested in December 2008 by the Groupe d’intervention tactique of the Service de police de Québec and charged with uttering death threats, possession of a prohibited weapon and careless storage of a firearm. The arrest arose out of comments made by the applicant to a bartender and the fact that he had shown him the weapon, bulletproof vests and equipment of that nature in his possession. There was intensive media coverage of the applicant’s arrest on the radio and in local newspapers.

In June 2009, the applicant filed a motion to institute proceedings against the respondents, two radio stations, to claim damages for defamation and damage to reputation. In his motion, he alleged, inter alia, that the respondents had presented him to the Québec population as a dangerous criminal and had distorted the information to suggest that he was an individual known to the police with an extensive criminal history. In May 2013, the Quebec Superior Court dismissed the applicant’s motion to institute proceedings. The Court of Appeal later dismissed his appeal.

36434   Susan Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Employment law – Unjust dismissal

The applicant was a Helpdesk analyst in the IT Department of the respondent. She was dismissed “with cause” after 21 years of employment with the respondent when she was found to have accessed a confidential document in another employee’s personal folder without permission, contrary to company policies and protocol. The document was a spreadsheet designating priorities for the limited employee parking spaces available and contained information such as pay grades and seniority dates. The applicant did not yet have a parking spot and was affected by the list. She claimed that she accessed the document to get information she knew her manager needed, although he did not ask her to get it. The respondent’s termination letter stated that the severity of the breach of trust had led it “to lose faith in your judgment” and “resulted in a serious loss of confidence” in her which had “irreparably damaged the employment relationship”. The applicant claims that while she opened the document without permission, it constituted a single lapse of judgment which did not amount to just cause for dismissal. She brought an action in damages for wrongful dismissal, and a motion for summary judgment. The respondent supported the motion for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of the action.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia granted summary judgment and held that the applicant’s conduct constituted cause for dismissal. Her action for wrongful dismissal was dismissed. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia dismissed her appeal, with Donald J.A. dissenting.