Ontario Civil


Construction Law

Statutory regulation

Building permits

Municipality was liable for damages for negligence and negligent misrepresentation

Plaintiffs purchased former group home in defendant municipality with intention of opening tourist oufitting business serving Algonquin Park. Plaintiffs intended to convert home into business with overnight residential space for tourists using their services. Municipality was supportive and Chief Building Officer (“CBO”) S issued building permit requiring new windows, doors, and fire escape signage. New CBO H replaced S and made substantial additional demands for upgrades and lowered permitted occupancy rates to below economically viable level. Plaintiffs attempted to list property for sale but H’s replacement was told by municipality not to inspect property so it could not be sold. Plaintiffs successfully brought action for damages for negligence and negligent misrepresentation. Municipality appealed. Appeal dismissed. Duty to mitigate required that plaintiffs take reasonable steps to mitigate damages. Duty to mitigate, however, did not require injured party to spend money that it did not have, especially when it was conduct of tortfeasor that has left injured party without funds. Court would not interfere with damages award.

Carson v. Kearney (Town) (2016), 2016 CarswellOnt 20128, 2016 ONCA 975, Doherty J.A., E.E. Gillese J.A., and Grant Huscroft J.A. (Ont. C.A.); leave to appeal refused (2016), 2016 CarswellOnt 6693, 2016 ONSC 2836, E.J. Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2016), 2016 CarswellOnt 6694, 2016 ONSC 1940, E.J. Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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