Superior Court of Justice, C. MacLeod J.July 5, 2018
The plaintiff found an unattended purse in a shopping mall and turned it over to a bus driver. The owner of the purse reported it to the police as stolen. The police obtained surveillance video of the plaintiff taking the purse and posted it on the Crime Stoppers website with a caption that referred to a “purse snatching” and described the plaintiff as a “suspect” who “stole a purse”. The plaintiff sued the police and Crime Stoppers for damages for libel and negligence. The defendants brought a motion for summary judgment dismissing the claims.
Held, Crime Stoppers’ motion should be granted in part; the police motion should be dismissed.
Crime Stoppers had a complete statutory defence to the libel claim under s. 3(3) of the Libel and Slander Act as it published a fair and accurate synopsis of a notice issued for the information of the public by a public authority and there was no allegation of malice. The libel claim against Crime Stoppers was dismissed. The police defendants were unable to demonstrate conclusively at the summary judgment stage that they came within one of the recognized defences to a defamation action. There were genuine issues for trial on that issue and on the issue of whether
either defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. The libel claim against the police and the negligence claim against both parties should proceed to trial.
The insurer took the position that the insured’s predominant injury was a minor injury as defined in s. 3 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (“SABS”), so that he was entitled to claim a maximum of $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits pursuant to s. 18(1) of SABS and would not be entitled to claim for attendant care benefits pursuant to s. 14. The parties applied for arbitration. As a preliminary issue, the insurer brought a motion for an order that the insured was suffering from minor injuries and was therefore limited in the benefits he could claim. The arbitrator determined that the insured did not fall under the Minor Injury Guideline — Superintendent’s Guideline No. 2/10 and was entitled to medical and rehabilitation benefits beyond the maximum prescribed in s. 18 of the SABS. The director’s delegate allowed the insurer’s appeal. The insured brought an application for judicial review of that decision.
The parties entered into an agreement of purchase and sale which contained an “entire agreement” clause. Before the transaction closed, the defendant vendors completed a seller property information statement (“SPIS”) in which they stated that the property was not subject to flooding and undertook to inform the plaintiff purchasers of any important changes to the information contained in the SPIS. The defendants failed to inform the plaintiffs of a pre-closing basement flood. After the closing, the basement flooded again, and the plaintiffs found out about the earlier flood. They sued the defendants for damages for negligent misrepresentation. The trial judge found that the entire agreement clause in the agreement of purchase and sale acted as a bar to the action. The Divisional Court allowed the plaintiffs’ appeal. The defendants appealed.