Only employers could be liable for employees’ bad faith conduct committed within scope of employment

Torts – Intentional infliction of mental suffering – Elements of tort

Plaintiff was appointed Canada's ambassador to Israel for four-year term commencing January 2, 2014, but she was informed that her appointment would be terminated effective June 30, 2016. Plaintiff issued notice of action against Attorney General of Canada (AG) as sole defendant, and she sought damages on basis that AG's conduct was in bad faith, violated duty of fairness owed to her, and violated fiduciary duty to act in her best interests. Plaintiff alleged that she attempted to address numerous issues arising from her termination and that responsible officials rebuffed and ignored her. Plaintiff brought partially successful motion to add five individuals as defendants. Master found that claim against individuals employed by AG, aside from T, were not adequately described in cause of action and were therefore statute-barred. Master found that plaintiff’s claim against T was restricted to that of bad faith . AG appealed. Appeal allowed in part. Action against T personally could not stand and claim for bad faith post-termination was dismissed. Current state of law was that only employers could be liable for bad faith conduct committed by their employees within scope of their employment with regard to employment contracts.

Bercovici v. Attorney General of Canada (2020), 2020 CarswellOnt 1423, 2020 ONSC 164, G. Dow J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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