News & Publications

Month: February 2012

Sidewalks: Do you have to shovel them?

Written by on January 21, 2019.

Most homeowners are aware that they do not own the sidewalk that surrounds their property – the municipality does. But as winter sets in and snow starts to fall, what does this mean for you? Generally speaking, homeowners are not legally responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks surrounding their property. As the owner of the sidewalk, the municipality is ultimately liable under Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act[1] for any injuries that occur as a result of hazards, such as ice and ...

Why Failing to Immediately Disclose a Litigation Agreement in Multi-Party Litigation is Dangerous and Costly

Written by and on January 21, 2019.

Summary Litigation agreements in multi-party litigation are required to be immediately disclosed to the other parties in the litigation (“Other Parties”). A litigation agreement is broadly defined as an agreement that has the effect of changing the adversarial position of the parties set out in their pleadings into a co-operative one.[1] Failure to immediately disclose a litigation agreement introduces risk that the action against some/all of the Other Parties could be permanently stayed...

Bosch

Written by on January 18, 2019.

On March 29, 2016 Siskinds, together with co-counsel, commenced an action against Robert Bosch GMBH (“Bosch”).  In the action, it is alleged that Bosch manufactured and installed defeat devices in certain diesel vehicles to render inoperative elements of their emissions control system.  The action seeks damages on behalf of people that own/owned and/or lease/leased the affected vehicles, which include: Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015); Volkswagen Jetta Wagon (2009); Volkswagen Golf (2010-2013,...

Employers: Post and Distribute the Updated ESA Poster

Written by on January 18, 2019.

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), employers must post a copy of the most recent employment standards poster (“ESA Poster”) prepared by the Ministry of Labour in a “conspicuous place” in the workplace. The Ministry of Labour has just released a new version of the ESA Poster, which you can view/print at this link.[1] In addition to posting the updated ESA Poster in a conspicuous place, employers must print it, in colour or black and white, on paper that is at least 8...

Year in Review – Umbrella Purchasers

Written by on January 11, 2019.

Overview Over the last several years, the Ontario and British Columbia courts have grappled with significant issues affecting the scope and viability of price-fixing class actions. One of these issues is whether “umbrella purchasers” have a cause of action in a price-fixing conspiracy class action. Umbrella purchasers are people who purchased the relevant product from a company that was not involved in the alleged conspiracy. The theory behind the inclusion of umbrella purchasers is that...

Uber Decision Calls into Question Arbitration Clauses in Commercial Agreements

Written by on January 07, 2019.

The news media has widely reported the Ontario Court of Appeal’s January 3, 2019 decision allowing a class-action by Uber drivers to proceed. The decision does not answer the question of whether Uber (and UberEATS) drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors (a conclusion that could have wide-ranging implications for employers that rely on independent contractor agreements). However, one aspect of the decision may have an immediate impact on employers in Ontario – the C...

Employers: Consider these Sample New Year’s Resolutions

Written by on January 04, 2019.

  With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to reflect on your business’s labour relations and start tackling those items on your “to-do” list. Here are three sample New Year’s resolutions that may benefit your business: 1. Revise your template employment contract, if necessary One of the most important clauses in every employment contract is the termination clause. A well-drafted and enforceable termination clause can be the difference between providing terminated emp...

ONCA holds that umbrella purchasers have a cause of action in a price-fixing class action

Written by on December 20, 2018.

Shah v LG Chem Ltd., 2018 ONCA 819 Background: In this class action, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries (“LIBs”) in North America and elsewhere between January 2000 and December 2011. As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for LIBs and products containing LIBs than they would have in a competitive market. The plaintiffs raised several causes of action, including unlawful means conspiracy and a statutory cause of actio...

Enforceability of Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts – Trending towards Clarity, or More Uncertainty?

Written by on December 19, 2018.

It is a basic principle of employment law in Ontario that employees terminated without cause are presumed to be entitled to common law reasonable notice of termination unless the parties clearly agreed to a different notice period, typically through a termination clause in an employment agreement, that does not violate the statutory minimums prescribed by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). One issue that frequently arises is whether the parties clearly agreed to a notice period ...

What is “shared custody” and how is it calculated?

Written by on December 19, 2018.

In family law, the term “custody” usually means decision-making. Having “custody”  means having the ultimate decision-making power over important decisions regarding the child, such as what child the school will attend, what religion the child will be raised in, what major recreational activities the child will take part in, and significant non-emergency health care decisions that need to be made for the child. Custody can be sole (where one parent has the sole authority to make major d...