Saturday, December 8, 2012

Summary judgment not blocked by "massive" record of respondent

Fairview Donut Inc. v. The TDL Group Corp., 2012 ONCA 867 deals with granting summary judgment in the face of a significant documentary record. Commonly, on a summary judgment motion the respondent presents a massive record in hopes of showing the matter is so complex as to require trial. Here the Court of Appeal rejected that approach and held a massive record, unless it raises some triable issue, is no bar to summary judgment:

[7]          We acknowledge that the appellants' proposed class action is a large one, with a massive documentary record, and, potentially, a great deal of money at stake. However, in the end we agree with the motion judge that it was appropriate for resolution on a summary judgment basis. As he said:

At its core, this case is not complex. True, the plaintiffs have amassed a huge record and the defendants have added their share to the pile. True, there are some conflicts in the evidence, but many of those conflicts are irrelevant to the issues. This is not a case in which it is necessary to make multiple findings of fact or to make findings of credibility.

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