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Civil Procedure - Summary Judgment - Partial Summary Judgment

Mason v. Perras Mongenais (Ont CA, 2018)

Here the Ontario Court of Appeal criticises the awarding of partial summary judgment, saying that it should only be rarely awarded because it often prematurely fetters the balance of the case going forward:
[22] In my view, the motion judge erred in principle in granting partial summary judgment, in the context of this litigation as a whole. In doing so, the motion judge failed to heed the advice given by this court in Baywood Homes Partnership v. Haditaghi, 2014 ONCA 450 (CanLII), 120 O.R. (3d) 438, about the risks associated with granting partial summary judgment. Those risks were repeated in this court’s decision in Butera v. Chown, Cairns LLP, 2017 ONCA 783 (CanLII), 137 O.R. (3d) 561. As Pepall J.A. said in Butera, at para. 34:
A motion for partial summary judgment should be considered to be a rare procedure that is reserved for an issue or issues that may be readily bifurcated from those in the main action and that may be dealt with expeditiously and in a cost effective manner.
[23] The potential liability of the respondent to the appellant is not an issue that can be readily bifurcated from the rest of the appellant’s claim. The nature of the appellant’s claim is such that it is inextricably linked to the claim against the other defendants, especially Chambers. Indeed the motion judge appears, at one point, to recognize this problem when he says, at para. 99:
I recognize that nothing is certain and there are risks of both duplication and that a judge could look at the same undisputed facts that I have reviewed and possibly see them differently.

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