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Break in Chain of Causation (Novus Actus Interveniens)

. Salomon c Matte-Thompson

In Salomon v. Matte‑Thompson (Ont CA, 2019) the Supreme Court of Canada commented as follows on when the chain of causation is broken:
[91] I also agree with the Court of Appeal that the fraud did not break the causal link between Mr. Salomon’s faults and the respondents’ losses. It is true that a person who commits a fault is not liable for the consequences of a new event that the person had nothing to do with and that has no relationship to the initial fault. This is sometimes referred to as the principle of novus actus interveniens: that new event may break the direct relationship required under art. 1607 C.C.Q. between the fault and the injury. Two conditions must be met for this principle to apply, however. First, the causal link between the fault and the injury must be completely broken. Second, there must be a causal link between that new event and the injury. Otherwise, the initial fault is one of the faults that caused the injury, in which case an issue of apportionment of liability may arise (Baudouin, Deslauriers, Moore, at Nos. 1-691 to 1-692; Laval (Ville de) (Service de protection des citoyens, département de police et centre d’appels d’urgence 911) v. Ducharme, 2012 QCCA 2122 (CanLII), [2012] R.J.Q. 2090, at paras. 64-65; Lacombe v. André, 2003 CanLII 47946 (QC CA), [2003] R.J.Q. 720, at paras. 58-60 (C.A.)).


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