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Action against Beard Winter client Southside Construction dismissed with costs

May 15, 2019

David A. Decker, Commercial Litigation Lawyer, Beard Winter LLP

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Toronto, Canada

After an Ontario Superior Court of Justice trial held in September 2018, Beard Winter LLP commercial litigation partner David A. Decker was successful in having an action dismissed against client Southside Construction. The case involved a number of corporate and commercial law principles.

In Cornerstone Properties Inc. v.  Southside Construction Management Ltd., 2018 ONSC 7487,  Cornerstone sought to recover the costs awarded to it arising from previous litigation against Southside’s wholly-owned subsidiary. To that end, Cornerstone urged The Honourable Mr. Justice Hockin to pierce the corporate veil of the subsidiary. In refusing to do so, Justice Hockin confirmed that, among other things, the subsidiary’s corporate veil could be pierced only where it was being used to facilitate fraudulent or improper conduct. The court also considered whether there was jurisdiction under relevant case law, and the Courts of Justice Act, to order Southside, a non-party to the previous litigation, to pay the costs awarded against Southside’s subsidiary. It was found that there was no such jurisdiction in this case.

Further, Justice Hockin found that as the claim was unusual, and as the case was well organized and the law well researched, a substantial award of costs in favour of Southside was justified (Costs Award, 2019 ONSC 1009).

Cornerstone has appealed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

David A. Decker has practised commercial and general litigation for more than 35 years. He has appeared numerous times as lead counsel before trial and appellate courts, and administrative tribunals. His litigation experience includes issues pertaining to real estate, mortgages and other secured transactions, construction, banking, tax, civil fraud, professional liability, insolvency, intellectual property, corporate, employment, injunctions, cross border litigation and class actions. To reach David, email him at ddecker@beardwinter.com or call him at 416.306-1776.