In February 2017, after a 40 day trial, an Ontario trial judge ordered the RCMP to pay Peter Merrifield $100,000 in general damages, $41,000 in special damages, and $825,000 in legal costs. In doing so, the trial judge recognized the tort of harassment. For my blog on this case, click here.
Last week, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) overturned this decision and ordered Mr. Merrifield to pay the RCMP its legal costs. In particular, the OCA concluded that the tort of harassment does not exist in Ontario and Mr. Merrifield did not prove that the RCMP had intentionally inflicted mental suffering on him.
This legal saga which started almost 12 years ago demonstrates the legal uncertainty that is associated with employment litigation in Ontario.
The good news for employers is that plaintiff lawyers have one less tool in their litigation toolbox.
For 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at [email protected]