Ontario Civil


Construction Law

Contracts

Building contracts

There was no legally relevant disparity in bargaining power between parties

Plaintiff developers entered into two agreements with defendant architects to provide design and architectural services for 12 townhouses. In consultation with city, architects proposed plan for 24 unit stacked back to back townhome project. Business plan prepared by developers was based on $130 per square foot. Design developed by architects cost $245 per square foot. Developers did not proceed with development and obtained permission from city to revert to original plan. Developers commenced action against architects for negligent misrepresentation. Developers sought damages and return of fees paid to architects. Architects successfully brought motion for summary judgment to dismiss developers’ action. Developers appealed. Appeal dismissed. Motion judge reasonably found there to be no legally relevant disparity in bargaining power or any other basis for finding that architects took advantage of developers. In coming to this conclusion motion judge considered level of industry experience of two parties and found that architects did not improperly induce developers to enter into Second Agreement. On this record, there was no reason to interfere with conclusion.

Manorgate Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 10942, 2018 ONCA 617, Gloria Epstein J.A., P. Lauwers J.A., and K. van Rensburg J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 18860, 2017 ONSC 7154, Favreau J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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