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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2276A/B
Phillip King

The Law of Tort 1/17/2013 4:42:00 PM Malette v. Shulman – Ontario Court of Appeal  Mrs. Malette was given a blood transfusion in the emergency room  Doctor knew she was carrying a card indicating a Jehovah‟s Witness card indicating she was unwilling to have blood transfusions  Mrs. Malette sued the doctor for battery and was awarded $20000  Doctor appealed arguing that it could be properly be doubted whether the card constituted a valid statement of Mrs. Malette‟s wishes in this emergency  The principal interest asserted by Mrs. Malette outweighs the interest of the state in the preservation of life and health and the protection of the integrity of the medical profession  Appeal was dismissed – the instructions on the Jehovah‟s witness card were clear  These dramatic life and death incidents may now decline as the Elders of the Jehovah‟s Witnesses have decreed that blood transfusions in life/death situations will no longer lead to excommnication Fortey (Guardian ad Litem) v. Canada (A.G) – Canada (A.G)  Guardian ad Litem – a person appointed by a court as guardian of a minor to act on his or her behalf in a particular proceeding  Drunk minor refused medical attention  Police knew that the minor had suffered a head injury but listened to the minor when he said he didn‟t want assistance  Courts found the police negligent by failing to realize that he intoxicated to such a degree that he has lost the capability of rational decision Halushka v. the University of Saskatchewan et al. – Saskatchewan Court of Appeal  University student submitted to a medical experiment at the University hospital  Court found that a consent form signed by the student was not valid in law because the doctors failed to give him a fair and reasonable explanation of the proposed treatment and probable effect or risks so that he can make an informed consent  Doctors did not inform him that they were testing an anaesthetic or that a catheter would be advanced to and through his heart  Student succeeded in his action for “trespass to the person”  Student suffered a cardiac arrest during the treatment and was resuscitated by the manual massage of his heart Gu v. Tai Foong International Ltd. – Ontario Court of Appeal  Involved joint venture agreements to market refrigerants  One person from the Lam Group seized some of Gu‟s property, including Gu‟s laptop  Gu Group commenced an action against Lam Group for, among other claims, conversion and return of property  On the issue of conversion the trial judge “found that Gu‟s computer was one of his most important business tools, it was held with absolutely no justification, Lam attempted to delay its return through a ruse designed to extort concessions from Gu, Lam denied the gravity of his conduct throughout the trial, and Lam tried to access Gu‟s files and damaged his hard drive in the process”  Trial judged ordered the return of personal property and awarded the Gu Group punitive damages of $50000, as well $25000 for conversion  Court of Appeal, citing Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Co. on punitive damages upheld the awards for conversion Mohtadi v. Canada Trust Co – British Columbia Court of Appeal  Canada Trust Co. drilled open a safe-deposit box of a customer and withdrew the contents as security for non-payment of the box rental  Payments had been paid but the company‟s system was faulty and years behind  Customer‟s action resulted not only in an award for damages for the tort of conversion, but also in an award for aggravated and punitive damages Hill v. Church of Scientology – Supreme Court of Canada  Morris Manning (Scientology) held a press conference and commented upon allegations contained in a notice of motion by which Scientology intended to commence criminal contempt proceedings against the respondent Casey Hill, a Crown attorney o Alleged that Hill had misled a judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario and had breached orders sealing certain documents belonging to Scientology o At the contempt proceedings, the allegations against Casey Hill were found to be untrue  Hill commence an action for damages in libel against moth Manning and Scientology o Manning and Scientology were found jointly liable for general damages in the amount of $300000 and Scientology alone was found liable for aggravated damages of $500000 and punitive damages of $800000  Manning and Scientology appealed this judgment o Appeal dismissed o Courts rejects the argument that Hill‟s actions were government action and thus open to Charter scrutiny  Private parties owe each other no constitutional duties o Courts reject the argument that Manning was exercising his right to freedom of expression  A democratic society has an interest in ensuring that its members can enjoy and protect their good reputation so long as it is merited  To make false statements which are likely to injure the reputation of another has always been regarded as a serious offence o Courts reject Manning‟s proposal to follow the New York Times v. Sullivan “Actual Malice” Rule  US Supreme Court ruled that the existing common law of defamation violated the guarantee of free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution  Held that the citizen‟s right to criticize government officials is of such importance in a democratic society that it can only be accommodated through tolerance of speech which may eventually be determined to contain falsehoods  Plaintiff had to prove that, at the time the defamatory statements were made, the defendant either knew them to be false or was reckless as to whether they were or not  Canada did not follow the New York Times v. Sullivan ruling o Courts rejected Manning‟s defence of qualified privilege  A privileged occasion is an occasion where the person who makes a communication has an interest or a duty, legal, social, or moral, to make it to the person to whom it is made, and the person to whom it is so made has a corresponding interest or duty to receive it. This reciprocity is essential  Privilege is not absolute and can be defeated if the dominant motive for publishing the statement is actual or express malice o Manning‟s appeal is
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