All posts filed under: Civil Code of Quebec

University can recoup pension monies

Carleton University won the right to reclaim nearly $500,000 in pension benefits made to a former political science professor who was missing for years before his remains were found in the woods near his Quebec home after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the pension plan plainly states that the benefits ceased when the beneficiary died.

Appeal court overturns $5.6 million award

A lower court ruling that awarded $5.6 million to a vessel fleet operator was overturned by the Quebec Court of Appeal after it held that the trial judge erred by applying the Civil Code of Quebec to settle a dispute instead of Canadian maritime law.

In a majority decision, the appeal court held that disputes concerning the repair and supply of engine parts to a ship is subject to Canadian maritime law, and therefore common law rules apply rather than civil law rules of delictual liability. As Canadian maritime law applies, the appeal court reaffirms it is the common law of contract and tort that applies to these cases.

The ruling, met with a sigh of relief by the maritime business world, dispels confusion and uncertainty engendered by the lower court ruling as it reaffirms that Canadian maritime law applies uniformly across Canada and “ousts” the application of provincial law, according to maritime lawyers.

Quebec court rules that religious marriages do not necessarily carry any legal obligations

A controversial Quebec Superior Court decision that ruled that religious marriages do not necessarily carry any legal obligations under civil law may have alarming and sweeping consequences, according to family law experts.

The “disturbing” ruling creates a new category of civil status in Quebec, undermines long-held views of religious marriages, and will possibly expose women to vulnerable situations where they will be pressured into celebrating a religious marriage without the protection afforded by civil law, cautioned family lawyers.

Tobacco companies do not have to pay initial $1.13 billion in tobacco class action suit

Three Canadian tobacco companies will not have to make an immediate $1.13 billion payment to Quebec smokers who won a landmark class action suit after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the justification for the provisional execution is weak, the prejudice to the firms serious, and that the balance of convenience weighs in their favour.

An initial payment of $1.13 billion was due this weekend after Quebec Superior Justice Brian Riordan held in Létourneau c. JTI-MacDonald Corp., 2015 QCCS 2382 that it was “high time that the companies started to pay for their sins” and “high time” for the plaintiffs and their lawyers to receive some relief from the “gargantuan” financial burden of bringing the tobacco companies to justice.

But the three-judge appeal court panel found that the existence of those “sins” is sub judice, or under judicial consideration, by the Court of Appeal, and therefore this “weakness in the order behooves our intervention.”

Confidentiality breach proves expensive for federal government

The federal government and two employees who worked for an Employee Assistance Program were ordered to pay nearly $175,000 for breaching the rights of an employee who sought their assistance in a case that underlines the importance for employers and personnel to safeguard confidential information.

“Employers must draw lessons from this ruling on how to deal with confidential and private information of employees,” said Sébastien Lorquet, a labour and employment lawyer with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. “They must understand that if confidential and private information is disclosed and that it causes harm to an employee, then employers and employees at fault can be held liable for damages incurred by the employee who suffered harm.”

Employers have duties towards employees working abroad

An electrician who launched a $190,000 suit against the scandal-plagued engineering firm SNC-Lavalin for failing to “rapidly and efficiently” evacuate him from Libya while the African nation was in the midst of a civil war lost his court battle after Quebec Superior Court held that the “troubles and inconvenience” he suffered were due to the “insurrection” in the country.

In a ruling that sheds light on the responsibilities employers have towards employees who work abroad, Justice Louis Lacoursière held that while article 51 of the Quebec Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety (Act) does not apply beyond the borders of Quebec, employers are nevertheless bound under article 2087 of the Civil Code of Québec to take “any measures” to protect the health, safety, and dignity of employees even if they work out of the country.