Ah, J.W. Quinn J of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, what we do without you?

In Blais v Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority, 2011 ONSC 1880 [Link available here], he concluded that the (misnamed) Toronto Transit Commission had, in the course of its normal practice of purging records, destroyed documents relevant to Blais’s slip-and-fall case against it. Justice Quinn also confirmed the current position in Ontario that spoliation is an evidentiary rule allowing the drawing of an adverse inference, not (yet, anyway) an independent cause of action. On the facts, no such inference was drawn because there was nothing to suggest that there had been a deliberate attempt to gain an advantage in the litigation.

But the decision is worth reading more for Justice Quinn’s sardonic asides, mostly in the footnotes, on a straightforward case dragged out and rendered ‘uniquely and unnecessarily convoluted’ by the plaintiff’s counsel, who ‘prosecuted it with the enthusiasm of invitees at a tax audit’.