Van Breda: A Revised Approach to Assumed Jurisdiction


On “Black Friday” many American retailers are known to offer deep discounts which draw a large number of bargain hunting shoppers. But what happens if a visiting Ontario bargain-seeking motorist is injured in a collision with a New York motorist and sues them in Ontario? The main issue is whether Ontario courts have the jurisdiction to hear an action filed by this Ontario motorist? This issue is broken down into two questions:

1) Can Ontario exercise jurisdiction? (also known as “assumed jurisdiction”); and,

2) Should Ontario exercise jurisdiction? (known as “forum non conveniens”).

In a recent decision, Club Resorts Ltd v Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17, the Supreme Court of Canada (“S.C.C.”) reorganized the framework for the first question, namely whether a Court can assume jurisdiction. The first step is to determine whether there is a “presumptive connecting factor” that links the subject matter of the litigation to Ontario. The SCC lists four non-exhaustive factors…

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Topics:  Forum Non Conveniens, Jurisdiction, Nexus, Presumptive Connecting Factors, Residency Requirements

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, International Trade Updates, Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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