Issue of whether union had capacity to be sued was unsettled

Ontario civil | Civil Practice and Procedure | Limitation of actions | Actions in contract or debt

Respondent employee was terminated from employment with appellant union. Employee brought action against union, for wrongful dismissal. Directors of union were added as defendants, on consent. Union pleaded that they were not proper party to action, based on Rights of Labour Act. Employee did not amend claim by obtaining representation order. Union defended action. After limitation period expired, union moved to dismiss action based on contention that they were not suable entity. Motion was dismissed, as court found that motion was not brought in timely manner. Issue of whether union had capacity to be sued was unsettled. Employee moved successfully to amend statement of claim, adding individual appellants as representatives of union. Union and individual appellants appealed from this judgment. Appeal dismissed. Motion judge was correct in finding that union used defence as tactical ploy. Rules of procedure were designed to avoid use of technical flaws as grounds to dismiss actions. Union was properly seen as sum of its members.
Lawrence v. IBEW, Local 773 (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 5650, 2017 ONCA 321, Robert J. Sharpe J.A., P. Lauwers J.A., and C.W. Hourigan J.A. (Ont. C.A.).

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