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  • Torts accounts for 182 out of 726 casebriefs.

Style of causeRatio

Stoffman v Ontario Veterinary Association (1990), 73 OR (2d) 737 (Ont Div Ct)

An action in malicious prosecution may be brought against a self-regulating professional association by one of its members so long as that member has suffered damage.

Surocco v Geary (1853), 3 Cal 69, 58 Am Dec 385 (Cal SC)

General rule: Necessary Intentional interference with property rights is allowable to save lives or the protect public interest from impending external threats (fire, flood, storm, war).
** Imminent peril must be averted by the action (the action must be "truly necessary")
** If it is a reasonable mistake in determining the imminent peril, then no liability follows.

Syl Apps Secure Treatment Centre v BD, 2007 SCC 38, [2007] 3 SCR 83

A treatment centre and its workers do not have a legal duty of care towards the families or associates of their patients.

Government actors only have a duty of care insofar as the statute under which they work specifies such a duty of care.

Tallow v Tailfeathers (1973), 44 DLR (3d) 55 (Alta CA)

The "ex turpi" defence is limited to violations of federal criminal law (i.e. not 'anti-social' behavior that violates municipal or provincial legislation).

TB Bright v Kerr [1939], SCR 63

As long as an agent is acting on behalf of the principal within the scope of the prescribed agency, the principal will he held vicariously liable.

Two Step Test to determine whether the scope of the agency (either or, not both):

A Principal should bear responsibility for the torts committed by its agent:

A) in “matters incidental to the doing of the acts the performance of which has been delegated to him” or,
B) Where the principal expressly authorized the act or has subsequently adopted them.

Ter Neuzen v Korn, [1995] 3 SCR 674

Where a procedure involves difficult questions of medical treatment or complex technical matters that are beyond the ordinary understanding of a judge or jury, it will not be open to find a standard medical practice negligent.

Exception: If a standard practice fails to adopt obvious reasonable precautions which are readily apparent to the ordinary finder of fact, then it is no excuse for the practitioner to say that they were merely conforming to common practice.

The Queen (Can) v Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, [1983] 1 SCR 205

Canada does not recognize a common law tort of statutory breach
** 1) Civil Consequences of breach of statute should be subsumed in the law of negligence
** 2) The notion of a nominate tort of statutory breach giving a right to recovery merely on proof of breach and damages should be rejected, as should the view that unexcused breach constitutes negligence per se giving rise to absolute liability
** 3) Proof of statutory breach, causative of damages, may be evidence of negligence
** 4) The statutory formulation of the duty may afford a specific, and useful, standard of reasonable conduct

Tock v St John's Metropolitan Area Board, [1989] 2 SCR 1181

Three different approaches to the defence of statutory authority:
** La Forest: Statutory authority as a defence can be overridden by policy reasons;
** Wilson et al: If the language of the statute is permissive, there must be conformity with private rights. If this conformity is not achieved, the defence of statutory authority is not applicable;
** Sopinka: The defence of statutory authority applies only if the defendant proves that it was practically impossible to avoid creating the nuisance.

Turner v Thorne (1960), 21 DLR (2d) 29 (Ont HC)

Innocent mistake is not a defence to trespass and its consequences. A trespasser to land is liable for both direct and indirect personal injuries resulting from the trespass.

United States v Carroll Towing Co (1947), 159 F2d 169 (2d Cir)

A reasonable risk is one whose cost of avoidance is less than probability of the injury, multiplied by the severity of the injury should it occur.

Vaughn v Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Comm (1961), 29 DLR (2d) 523 (NS SC)

A person is liable in negligence when they do not take reasonable steps to address/avoid the risks of their actions.

Vincent v Lake Erie Transportation Co (1910), 109 Minn 456, 124 NW 221

Necessity is only a defence if peril is imminent; and if you preserve your property at the expense of another person's property, that constitutes trespass and you are liable for the damage.
** If one preserves property at the expense of another’s without threat or menace from plaintiff’s property or an unavoidable incident due to act of god, then P is entitled to compensation for damages.

Wackett v Calder (1965), 51 DLR (2d) 598 (BC CA)

An act of repelling an (apprehended) attack does not need to be measured with complete exactitude or nicety.

Walker Estate v York Finch General Hospital, 2001 SCC 23, [2001] 1 SCR 647

If the defendant’s negligence materially contributed to the plaintiff’s injury, then it establishes causation

Walls v Mussens Ltd et al (1969), 11 DLR (3d) 245 (NB CA)

In an emergency situation, the test for contributory negligence is whether the plaintiff did what an ordinarily prudent person might reasonably have done under the stress of the moment.