Zuber & Company LLP in Toronto

Zuber & Company LLP

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A successful outcome for Tobin Horton and Jessie Gomberg in Khurshid v. Richards and Lefcoe, 2021 ONSC 3830 (CanLII)

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The plaintiff, alleging a hip injury as a result of a dog attack, brought a partial summary judgment motion to dispense with the issue of liability and hold a trial on damages only. Justice Sheard considered whether a multitude of disagreed facts (including how many dogs escaped the home and whether the dog(s) made contact with the plaintiff) constituted a liability issue suitable for trial. Justice Sheard concluded that it was impossible to evaluate the credibility and reliability of contested liability evidence placed before her without a trial. She consequently dismissed the plaintiff’s motion.

Justice Sheard reiterated what litigants should always know: summary judgment motions are blunt tools that are best used in circumstances where material facts are not hotly contested. In her words, “[i]n an ideal world, motions for summary judgment would be vetted by the court before they were brought.