Zuber & Company LLP in Toronto

Zuber & Company LLP

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Horani v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2023 ONCA 51

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A great success. This appeal is brought by the Appellants (Plaintiffs) as a result of a motion Judge’s refusal to grant leave to bring a motion to include punitive damages in the Plaintiffs’ claim based on presumed prejudice that could not be compensated by an award of costs. The matter was set down for trial 4 years prior by the Appellants (Plaintiffs,) and certified the matter was ready for trial during two previous pre-trials. Just weeks prior the scheduled 32 day trial, the Appellants brought a motion to amend the claim to increase the amount of damages and include punitive damages. The motion judge allowed the increased damages but refused the Appellants (Plaintiffs) requests related to punitive damages resulting in this appeal. The Appellants appealed on the grounds that the motion judge erred in law as there was neither prejudice nor presumed prejudice causally related or flowing from the proposed amendment that was non-compensable, as any delay or extra work that would result from the amendment were matters compensable in costs. No explanation for the delay in bringing the motion was provided by the Appellants (Plaintiffs). The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.