The Ontario Court of Appeal in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII), summarizes the legal test that the Ontario Court follows in deciding to award punitive damages, as follows: The defendant’s conduct is reprehensible. It is always prudent to seek professional legal advice before making any decisions with respect to your own case. Her Honour agreed with the balance of the Court of Appeal’s decision. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII) See full case on CanLII. What is surprising is the Court’s potential change in the law of intentional infliction of mental suffering. 3, at para. (CanLII). Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. should be seen as a historic landmark for the idea that workplace bullying in Canada per se is actionable misconduct and that employers are required to … However, more recently in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp.13, when the Court of Appeal next considered a punitive damage award in the employment context, it reduced the award of 9 2011 ONSC 1480 (CanLII). Whereas Justices Laskin and Tulloch awarded $100,000 in punitive damages against Wal-Mart, Associate Chief Justice Hoy would have only awarded $25,000. Wal-Mart was aware of Mr. Pinnock’s conduct and either failed or refused to do anything about it. However, as McLachlin C.J.C. Obviously, Wal-Mart is now on the hook for a considerable sum of money, even with the court’s reductions. 193 On the tort of invasion of privacy (false light and public disclosure of private facts), I award damages of $100,000, considering the conduct here and the range in the cases identified in Rutman v. This page contains a form to search the Supreme Court of Canada case information database. 378 (CA) MLB headnote and full text. The above is not intended to be legal advice for any particular situation. It is important to note that there was a split decision by the Court of Appeal, potentially leaving the door open to a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Boucher cross-appealed against Wal-Mart, asking for $726,601 to compensate her for her loss of income until retirement. In an earlier post on this blog following that initial award, Former Walmart Employee Awarded $1.5 Million for Mistreatment, I wrote the following: Now that the decision from the Court of Appeal has been released, more information is available. It could rock the wrongful dismissal world. In the Honda case, a disabled employee was awarded, among other things, $500,000 punitive damages, 15 … The abuse began after Boucher refused to … Tim Mitchell practises management-side labour and employment law with McLennan Ross LLP in Calgary. However, the challenge with Ms. Boucher’s argument was that the medical evidence demonstrated that she was capable of working only two months after she got away from Mr. Pinnock. I award $50,000 compensatory damages for intentional infliction of mental suffering, relying on Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp ., 2014 ONCA 419 (Ont. You can search by the SCC 5-digit case number, by name or word in the style of cause, or by file number from the appeal court. • Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 (Ont. CanLII is a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Wal-Mart was again ordered to pay punitive damages for deciding to terminate the employee but insensitively withholding that information for about ten months, leaving the plaintiff to drift in limbo all that time. This case was heard in the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench (Trial Division).The plaintiffs in this case were a group of fishermen who alleged that the City of Miramichi was responsible for altering the water quality on the Miramichi River and disturbing their fishery. Erin Brandt. Ms. Boucher was entitled to damages as a result and acted reasonably in the decision to leave her employment with Wal-Mart. Boucher cross-appealed against Wal-Mart, asking for $726,601 to compensate her for her loss of income until retirement. As is set out in the reasons for decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario: As mentioned above, the case was tried before a judge and a jury. Cite: [2004] O.A.C. Boucher v Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and Pinnock, 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII), highlights that a failure to adhere to those policies in a fair and even-handed manner can prove costl y to an employer. It was highly doubtful that the court would allow an award of $1,000,000 to stand given the court’s recent decision in Pate Estate v. Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (Township), 2013 ONCA 669, considered by this blog in the post Wrongful Dismissal Damages Carry Punitive Elements: ONCA. For this last week: 1. This decision appears to be on a collision course with the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2008 decision in Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays decision.In the Honda case, a disabled employee was awarded, among other things, … BOLGE v. WALMART STORES, INC. et al, No. This website provides access to court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions. The Ontario Court of Appeal, Hoy, A.C.J.O. Employee Dismissal: A Morality Tale (Galea v. Wal-Mart Canada) January 17, 2018. If the decision stands, either because neither party appeals, or the Supreme Court of Canada declines to hear the case, or the Supreme Court of Canada agrees with this decision, then we may be seeing significantly more cases of intentional infliction of mental suffering cases coming out of the employment law world. C.A.) The takeaway for employees from this case is that even with the significant reduction in the award of punitive damages against Wal-Mart and the belligerent manager, Ms. Boucher won. In its decision, the Court of Appeal found the award for intentional infliction of mental suffering reasonable and refused to interfere with the amount. Fortunately for Wal-Mart, the Court of Appeal decided that a jury's record awards of $1.1 million in punitive damages for workplace bullying were excessive. R. v. Boucher (R.) (2004), 187 O.A.C. Complaints will come notwithstanding all best efforts. This amount is consistent with the decision of the Court of Appeal in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII) that upheld an award in that amount for aggravated damages. The court agreed that the manager’s behaviour was wrong and worthy of sanction. For my thoughts upon that issue, I would direct readers to the post Tort Damages Place in Wrongful Dismissal Cases . C.A.). The Ontario Court of Appeal, Hoy, A.C.J.O. However, the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Boucher v Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and Pinnock, 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII), highlights that a failure to adhere to those policies in a fair and even-handed manner can prove costly to an employer. As regular readers of this blog will know, I have long taken issue with the Court of Appeal’s decision in Piresferreira v. Ayotte, 2010 ONCA 384. Based on the aforementioned, and relying on the decision of Boucher v.Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419, the court maintained: [28] The plaintiff alleges that the defendant allowed bullying, violence and harassment in the workplace and further that the plaintiff was terminated because she complained of the bullying, violence and harassment. ... Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 (CanLII) Received negative treatment in Contains negative treatment of Description. TBEd. Has this case received negative treatment? 133. In the same decision, however, the court upheld the award of $100,000 in damages for intentional infliction of mental suffering against the manager, and the award of $200,000 in aggravated damages against Wal-Mart. 10 ibid at para. The lessons from Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419 are critical for responsible organizations. If anyone has the means to take up an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, it most certainly is Wal-Mart. JN.099. She also continued to report specific examples of his abuse. I will start by saying that the Court of Appeal’s decision with respect to the punitive damages’ awards hardly surprises me. Both Pinnock and Wal-Mart appealed the awards. By Erin Brandt. Be the first to add a negative treatment flag to help our community. dissenting in part, upheld the award of $100,000 against Pinnock for intentional infliction of mental suffering, and the aggravated damages award of $200,000 against Wal-Mart. As this award was one of the highest of its kind in Canada, we thought the case was worth special mention. said in Blackwater v. Plint, 2005 SCC 58 (CanLII), [2005] 3 S.C.R. The facts of the case demonstrate that a former assistant store manager of a Windsor Wal-Mart store, the plaintiff in the case, was a good employee who was treated very poorly by her immediate supervisor, the store manager, one of the defendants. In late May 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“the Court”) (with one justice in dissent) varied those damages in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., … In upholding the award, Justice Laskin noted, with reference to the test for such damages established by the Court of Appeal in Prinzo v. Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, 2002 CanLII 45005 (ON CA): In reducing the award of punitive damages, Justice Laskin commented as follows: With respect to the appeal by Wal-Mart, the court again declined to interfere with the jury’s award of $200,000 for aggravated damages. Galea v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2017 ONSC 245 (CanLII). This decision appears to be on a collision course with the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2008 decision in Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays decision. R v Boucher is a famous Supreme Court of Canada decision where the Court overturned a conviction for seditious libel on the grounds that criticizing the government was a valid form of protest. The case is called Boucher v. 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