When Bags Fly: Airline Baggage and Cargo Liability

Denis Grigoras

Denis is a lawyer who draws on his background in complex legal disputes and transactions to problem-solve for his clients.

When your cargo or luggage gets damaged or lost during international air transport, you might think that the airline will compensate you for your losses. However, the legal landscape surrounding airline liability for international cargo and baggage is complex. It’s governed by international conventions like the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention, which establish specific rules and liability limits for airlines.

Airline Liability

Introduction

When your cargo or luggage gets damaged or lost during international air transport, you might think that the airline will compensate you for your losses. However, the legal landscape surrounding airline liability for international cargo and baggage is complex. It’s governed by international conventions like the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention, which establish specific rules and liability limits for airlines. This blog post aims to help you understand these rules and how they affect your rights as a passenger or shipper.

Deciphering Liability Caps: Warsaw Convention and the Hague Protocol

Under international law, airlines carry a set amount of liability for loss or damage of goods or baggage. These liability limits are established by the Warsaw Convention, later amended by the Montreal Protocol No. 4 and the Montreal Convention. Airlines are presumed liable for damage up to the lesser of the actual loss value or a set amount per pound (or kilogram), without the need for the claimant to prove the airline’s negligence. They only need to prove that the goods or luggage were handed over in good condition, and either did not arrive or arrived damaged. However, if the value of the lost or damaged goods is greater than this set limit, and the shipper didn’t declare a higher value, the shipper or passenger might not want the Convention to limit the airline’s liability. They might argue that the Convention shouldn’t apply or that the airline can’t use its liability limits because it didn’t provide correct documentation or because of its willful misconduct.

Under the Warsaw Convention, the airline’s liability for lost or damaged air cargo or checked baggage is capped at 250 francs per kilogram, roughly equivalent to $9.07 per pound or $20 per kilogram. This limit can be exceeded if the shipper declares a higher value for their goods and pays an additional fee, as long as the damages suffered match or exceed this declared value.

With the introduction of Montreal Protocol No. 4 and the Montreal Convention, the liability limit for cargo and checked baggage was raised to 17 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per kilogram, around $27 per kilogram, or $59 per pound. As with the Warsaw Convention, this limit can be raised if the shipper declares a higher value and pays an extra fee.

When it comes to calculating compensation for damaged or lost items, courts typically multiply the liability limit by the weight of the individual package that was lost or damaged. However, if the package is a crucial part of the whole shipment, the weight of the entire shipment is used to calculate the compensation. In other words, if a small but vital part of a large shipment is lost or damaged, compensation may be calculated based on the total weight of the entire shipment, not just the weight of the lost or damaged item.

Circumstances Leading to Surpassing the Liability Threshold

Typically, passengers or shippers have five potential ways to bypass these liability limits:

  1. The movement was not international in character, and did not involve transportation by air.
  2. It was not transportation by air.
  3. The baggage claim check ticket (issued when luggage is checked) was deficient.
  4. The air waybill was deficient.
  5. The carrier engaged in willful misconduct.

When the Transportation Isn’t Considered Global

International transportation, as defined by these conventions, involves a journey that starts in one country and ends in another. Alternatively, it can also involve a journey that begins and ends within the same country, provided there’s a scheduled stop in another country. Importantly, these rules apply even if the journey involves multiple stages or different carriers, as long as it’s considered a single, continuous movement by the involved parties. For instance, if a cargo shipment is flown domestically to connect with an international flight, the conventions still apply. Even if the cargo is transported by a surface carrier for part of the journey, if it’s part of an international shipment, the conventions remain in effect.

In simpler terms, as long as the journey involves crossing international borders or includes a stop in another country, the rules of the Warsaw Convention or Montreal Convention apply. This is true even if part of the transportation happens within a single country, or by different methods of transport. These conventions are in place to establish who is responsible if something goes wrong during the journey, such as loss or damage to goods or baggage.

When the Journey Isn’t Made by Air

The conventions dictate who is responsible when loss, damage, or delay of baggage or freight occurs during air transportation. However, there are certain nuances. For example, according to the Warsaw Convention, any land transportation performed outside an airport isn’t considered “transportation by air,” unless it’s part of an air transport contract for loading, delivery, or transshipment. The Montreal Protocol No. 4 and Montreal Convention, on the other hand, define the “carriage by air” as the period when the cargo is under the carrier’s control, regardless of location.

When the Baggage Claim Check Doesn’t Meet Standards

The Warsaw Convention mandates airlines to issue detailed baggage claim checks when accepting checked luggage. Yet, some courts allow these specifics on the passenger’s ticket. Even with errors or missing baggage checks, the carriage contract remains valid. However, missing vital data (ticket number, baggage weight) prevents carriers from limiting liability under Article 22 of the Warsaw Convention. No baggage check at all equals loss of liability limitation rights.

Various cases have demonstrated these principles. Courts have sometimes overlooked minor errors in baggage checks, especially for commercial shippers, if claimants aren’t harmed.

The Hague Protocol and Montreal Convention simplified baggage claim requirements and removed liability caps. Still, some courts insist on specific baggage details to limit airlines’ liability. In Spanner v. United Airlines, missing baggage details meant Warsaw Convention‘s liability limit couldn’t apply.

An unusual ruling in Foord v. United Airlines, Canada, deemed the airline couldn’t limit liability under the Montreal Convention due to lack of a liability limitation notice. This was despite convention rules stating otherwise.

In essence, while conventions and laws govern baggage liability, their interpretation and application can vary significantly based on case details and jurisdiction.

Evaluating the Deficiencies in Air Waybills

The air waybill, serving as a contract between the sender and the carrier, must contain specific information. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the carrier losing the protection of limited liability. However, subsequent amendments have reduced these requirements and made the liability ceilings unbreakable regardless of the air waybill’s deficiency.

Willful Misconduct: When Carriers Cross the Line

The liability limit can be exceeded if the plaintiff proves that the airline, or its employees, engaged in “willful misconduct.” This is a term that refers to intentional actions or negligence of such severity that it’s almost as though harm was intended. It’s important to note that willful misconduct is more than just ordinary or even gross negligence. It involves knowingly performing an act or failing to perform an act, with the understanding that it will probably result in injury or damage. In other words, it’s about recklessly ignoring the potential consequences of one’s actions.

In determining whether the actions of an airline constitute willful misconduct, courts often apply a “subjective” test. This means that the court considers the intent of the individual rather than just the outcomes of their actions. Simply put, the carrier must either know they’re acting wrongfully or be recklessly indifferent to the results of their actions.

Interestingly, the burden of proof often shifts to the airline to disprove allegations of willful misconduct, especially when the plaintiff presents strong evidence. This shift in responsibility occurs because the airline typically has exclusive access to information that could either prove or disprove these allegations.

However, it’s important to understand that the Montreal Convention and Montreal Protocol No. 4 have slightly different rules. For instance, while these conventions still allow the liability ceiling to be exceeded for personal injury or damage to baggage due to willful misconduct, the liability limits for cargo damage are unbreakable, regardless of the circumstances.

It’s worth noting that even if the airline’s actions fall under the definition of “willful misconduct,” this doesn’t automatically guarantee that the plaintiff will be awarded damages exceeding the liability limit. The final decision is left to the local jurisdiction, and past cases have seen mixed results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the question of airline liability for international cargo and baggage involves navigating through complex legal landscapes created by international conventions like the Warsaw Convention, the Hague Protocol, Montreal Protocol No. 4, and the Montreal Convention. While these conventions establish the general rules and liability limits, it’s ultimately up to the claimant to prove their case and possibly exceed these limits.

They can do this by demonstrating that the transportation was not international, it wasn’t by air, the baggage claim check was deficient, the air waybill was deficient, or the carrier engaged in willful misconduct. However, the success of these strategies varies from case to case and jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

It’s also important to remember that claimants have other options to protect their interests, such as declaring a higher value for their goods or purchasing insurance. These can provide additional avenues for recovering losses in the event of damage or loss during air transportation.

Navigating these complex legal waters can be challenging for the average person. Therefore, if you find yourself facing such a situation, it’s recommended to seek advice from a legal expert knowledgeable in international transport laws. They can help you understand your rights, responsibilities, and the best course of action to take.

Remember, every situation is unique, and what worked in one case may not necessarily apply to yours. Therefore, understanding the specifics of your situation and seeking appropriate legal counsel is always the best strategy.

Example: Koliada v. Lufthansa German Airlines

This was a small claims court lawsuit by Koliada against Lufthansa German Airlines for not fulfilling their contract. Koliada flew from Moscow to Toronto on a Lufthansa flight. He had packed a laptop, a camera, and a suit in one of his bags, all worth a total of $4,220 US. He had concerns about the safety of these items in his checked luggage and shared these concerns with a Lufthansa representative. He was reassured that his belongings were secure and there were no extra charges needed.

However, when Koliada arrived in Toronto, his luggage was missing. While his bag was eventually found, his laptop, camera, and suit were gone. Lufthansa compensated him with $742, citing that the Warsaw Convention limited their responsibility to 250 francs per kilogram, unless the passenger declared the value of the items and paid an extra fee if asked.

Koliada sued Lufthansa and won the case, receiving a total of $5,277. He had verbally informed the airline about the value of his belongings, which was found to be acceptable under the Convention, even though no extra fee was paid – Lufthansa hadn’t asked for one. The airline’s rule that claimed they weren’t responsible for this kind of loss didn’t apply to Koliada, because it contradicted the Convention and it wasn’t part of his agreement with Lufthansa. They also hadn’t made him aware of this rule. The court ruled that the mention of Lufthansa’s rules on the ticket wasn’t enough to make Koliada aware of their liability limitation.

The total value of the lost items was $6,019 in Canadian dollars. After subtracting the compensation that Lufthansa had already paid, Koliada received the remaining amount.

Have you experienced loss or damage to your luggage or goods during international air transport? Unsure about airline liability limits and how they might affect your compensation? Let's navigate the complexities of the Warsaw Convention, the Montreal Convention, and more to secure your rights.

Talk to a Civil Litigation Lawyer

Stay Connected

More Posts

Choosing the Right Commercial Litigation Toronto

Discover the key factors to consider when choosing Commercial Litigation Toronto services. Grigoras Law offers expertise in diverse legal challenges, prioritizing client needs and business impacts. With proactive strategies, skilled negotiation, and cutting-edge technology, they ensure favorable outcomes while safeguarding client interests. Trust their client-centric approach for effective resolution.

Read More »

How Business Sale Lawyers Facilitate Smooth Transitions

Discover the critical role of business sale lawyers in navigating the intricate legal landscape of selling a business. Grigoras Law excels in providing expert guidance, conducting thorough due diligence, negotiating contracts, and mitigating risks. With a client-centric approach and comprehensive legal services, we champion your business interests for a seamless transition.

Read More »

How Appeal Lawyer Toronto Can Help You Win

Facing a challenging verdict in Toronto? Grigoras Law offers unmatched expertise in appellate litigation. Our expert Appeal Lawyers meticulously dissect trial records, crafting compelling arguments to navigate the complexities of higher courts. With comprehensive support and a strategic approach, we ensure every client receives the best chance for success.

Read More »

3 Benefits of Hiring a Business Sale Lawyer

Streamline your business sale with Grigoras Law. Our specialized Sale Lawyers provide expert guidance, navigating complex transactions with precision. We mitigate legal risks, ensuring your interests are protected at every turn. From negotiation to dispute resolution, trust us to achieve the best outcome for your business sale journey.

Read More »

Your Path to Legal Victory: Expert Lawsuit Lawyers Toronto, ON

Grigoras Law, a beacon in Toronto’s legal landscape, offers unmatched expertise in lawsuits. Their client-centric approach prioritizes individual needs, ensuring tailored legal strategies and comprehensive support. With a commitment to excellence and unwavering dedication, they deliver exceptional results, building enduring relationships based on trust and respect. Choose Grigoras Law for unparalleled legal counsel.

Read More »

Why Toronto Shareholder Agreement Lawyers Matter

Grigoras Law emphasizes the vital role Toronto Shareholder Agreement Lawyers play in safeguarding business interests. Their tailored solutions ensure clarity, fairness, and legal compliance, navigating complex landscapes and providing expert representation in disputes. With a client-centric approach, they become partners in business success, offering robust frameworks for thriving in competitive markets.

Read More »
Business Sale Lawyer

How Does a Business Sale Lawyer Guide You to Success?

Grigoras Law offers specialized Business Sale Lawyers to streamline the sale of your business, ensuring legal compliance and maximizing profitability. Our approach focuses on early engagement, due diligence, skilled negotiation, and addressing legal intricacies to protect your interests. With a client-centric philosophy and a comprehensive legal expertise, we provide tailored, cost-effective legal solutions designed for your success. Our commitment is to deliver value and support through every step of your business transaction.

Read More »

How a Business Lawyer Toronto Can Help Your Company Thrive

Grigoras Law highlights the importance of a Business Lawyer in Toronto for company growth, emphasizing legal compliance, contract management, business formation, intellectual property protection, and dispute resolution. They offer personalized, cost-effective legal services for small businesses, ensuring comprehensive support for navigating legal complexities and achieving business success.

Read More »

The Role of a Small Business Lawyer Toronto

Grigoras Law champions small businesses with tailored legal services, emphasizing compliance, contract management, business formation, IP protection, and dispute resolution, offering cost-effective solutions and comprehensive support for business growth and success.

Read More »

The Best Appeal Lawyer near me: Your Search ends here!

Grigoras Law offers expert appeal lawyer services, emphasizing a client-centric approach, transparent communication, and comprehensive legal expertise. Specializing in appellate processes and offering multifaceted legal solutions, they ensure personalized and effective representation for challenging court decisions.

Read More »

When is The Best Time To Hire Civil Lawyer Near Me?

Deciding to hire a civil lawyer is crucial when facing legal challenges. Grigoras Law emphasizes the importance of experience, communication, reputation, availability, and strategic planning in choosing a lawyer. They offer expert legal assistance for lawsuits, negotiations, and protecting rights.

Read More »
How to Choose the Right Toronto Civil Lawyer

How to Choose the Right Toronto Civil Lawyer?

Grigoras Law offers guidance in navigating Canadian civil litigation’s complexities, emphasizing the importance of selecting specialized Toronto civil lawyers for successful legal outcomes. It outlines steps for understanding your case, evaluating lawyer expertise and compatibility, and provides tips for choosing the right legal representation, stressing experience, budget, and personal fit.

Read More »

Is Civil Litigation Toronto Right for You?

Civil litigation in Toronto encompasses legal disputes outside criminal charges, including personal injury, property, and intellectual property conflicts, offering pathways to justice through compensation or settlements, guided by experienced litigators.

Read More »

Who Can Benefit from Defamation Lawyer Toronto?

Defamation involves spreading false statements that harm reputations, affecting individuals and businesses. Toronto defamation lawyers offer legal guidance, strategic representation, and reputation management to combat these damaging claims and protect clients’ reputations.

Read More »

Insider Tips to Identify the Right Defamation Lawyer Near Me

An outline covering the importance of hiring a skilled defamation lawyer, focusing on traits like expertise, success records, communication, strategic thinking, and client-centered approaches. Grigoras Law offers guidance in selecting top defamation lawyers in Toronto for effective case resolution.

Read More »

Difference Between Civil & Commercial Litigation GTA

Understanding the differences between civil and commercial litigation in Toronto is crucial for navigating legal disputes effectively. This text highlights the distinctions, procedures, and importance of choosing specialized lawyers for individuals and businesses, emphasizing Grigoras Law’s expertise in achieving favorable outcomes.

Read More »
Google Reviews | Toronto Defamation Lawyers

Can You Sue Google for a Defamatory Google Review?

For now, Thorpe v. Boakye serves as a pivotal case in understanding the evolving legal landscape around digital platform liability. It highlights a significant divergence between Canadian and U.S. legal systems in handling online defamation. Canadian courts appear more open to considering platforms like Google as publishers and thus potentially liable, whereas U.S. law, under the CDA, leans heavily towards protecting these platforms from such liabilities.

Read More »
Ontario Shareholder Remedies | Toronto Commercial Litigation Lawyers

Ontario Shareholder Remedies Explained

In the intricate world of corporate law, shareholders possess a slew of rights. When these rights are jeopardized, or when the corporation’s actions seem unjust or prejudicial, shareholders can turn to specific remedies enshrined in the law.

Read More »
What Business Structure Should I Use in Ontario | Toronto Business Lawyers

What Business Structure Should I Use in Ontario?

Starting a business is a thrilling adventure, akin to setting out on an uncharted path. Every decision made at the outset lays the foundation for future success. One such pivotal decision is selecting the right business structure. This isn’t just a bureaucratic step; it shapes the very essence of your business, influencing liability, tax implications, operational processes, and more.

Read More »
Sublease vs Assignment

Assignment vs. Sublease in Commercial Tenancies

Navigating the complex landscape of commercial tenancies becomes even more intricate when terms like “assignment” and “sublease” emerge. While these terms may sometimes be used interchangeably by those less acquainted with property jargon, they embody distinct concepts with specific legal implications. Grasping the differences between them is vital for both tenants and landlords to facilitate seamless transitions and evade potential pitfalls.

Read More »
Online Trolls

Defamation in the Age of Online Trolls

The freedom of the internet allows for uninhibited self-expression. While many embrace this freedom to share positive stories, ideas, and feedback, others exploit it to spread malicious rumors or make derogatory comments without facing immediate consequences. The cloak of anonymity can embolden such individuals, making the internet a potential hotbed for defamation.

Read More »
Stolen Funds

Sase Aggregate: Court of Appeal’s Take on Stolen Funds

In the constantly evolving realm of legal jurisprudence, the case of Sase Aggregate Ltd. v. Langdon offers intriguing insights into the principles of knowing receipt, knowing assistance, and unjust enrichment. This article dives into why Sase Aggregate Ltd., the appellant, was unsuccessful in both its initial application to the lower court and its subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Read More »
Selling Your Business

Selling Your Business: The Importance of Proper Valuation

For many business owners, the question “How much is my business actually worth?” weighs heavy on their minds. This is particularly true if you’re considering selling your business. The value of your business significantly influences the returns you receive from its sale. This factor not only affects your negotiation strategies but also has potential implications for your future financial well-being. The process of determining this value is known as business valuation, and it’s an intricate, multilayered exercise that requires expert knowledge.

Read More »
Defamation

Defamation Law Explained: How the Parties’ Conduct Impacts Ontario Cases

When the invisible line of respect between individuals in society is crossed through defamatory comments, the law provides a remedy through defamation lawsuits. However, these cases are not black-and-white. Their outcomes can be influenced by the actions and behaviour of involved parties – both before and after the publication of the defamation. In Ontario, this scrutiny of conduct plays a pivotal role in shaping legal outcomes.

Read More »
Defamation Damages

How Defamation Damages Work in Ontario: A Detailed Look

Understanding defamation law, especially when considering the potential damages, is no small feat. The nuances and complexities can be overwhelming, yet having a clear comprehension of what the damages entail is invaluable for plaintiffs and defendants alike. In Ontario, defamation law encompasses three key types of damages: Aggravated, Special, and Punitive Damages.

Read More »
Parliamentary Privilege

Between Privilege and Liability: Ontario’s Lawmakers in the Balance

When we talk about “parliamentary privilege,” we refer to a set of rights and protections that enable lawmakers at the federal and provincial levels in Canada to perform their duties without fear of being legally liable. These privileges safeguard the democratic principles Canada is built upon, ensuring each branch of government respects the others’ roles.

Read More »
False Light Tort

Shedding Light on the False Light Tort

In 2019, Ontario recognized “publicity which places an individual in a false light” – the “false light tort” – as a part of the common law. Despite its relatively straightforward definition, the false light tort remains puzzling due to its ambiguous parameters, unique elements, and potential utility.

Read More »
Canadian Tax on Professional Athletes

Extra Points: The Game of Canadian Taxation for Athletes

How does Canadian tax law impact professional athletes? To understand this, we need to think about multiple scenarios, and consider the athlete’s residency, their affiliations with Canadian or foreign-based teams, and the ever-changing political landscape surrounding the taxation of sports franchises in Canada.

Read More »
The Business Judgment Rule

The Business Judgment Rule: A Director’s Guide to Risky Business

The business judgment rule has its roots firmly planted in the need to facilitate an environment of innovation and growth in business. Recognizing that running a business often involves taking risks, this rule has been developed to shield directors and officers who are willing to take calculated chances to propel a corporation forward.

Read More »
Civil Fraud

Civil Fraud: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Civil fraud, also known as deceit, is a serious economic tort or civil wrong that involves a deliberate deception through false representation. It requires four elements: a false representation by the defendant, their knowledge (or recklessness) of the falsehood, the plaintiff’s action influenced by this representation, and a loss suffered by the plaintiff as a result.

Read More »
Nevada's Court System

Silver State Justice: A Closer Look at Nevada’s Court System

The judicial system in Nevada plays a critical role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring the fair administration of justice. The courts covered include Municipal Courts, Justice Courts, Small Claims Court, District Courts, Family Courts, and Appellate Courts, comprising the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

Read More »
Insider Trading

Insider Intel: Navigating the Gray Areas of Insider Trading

An “insider” is broadly defined, including the corporation, directors, officers, major shareholders, employees, and professionals like lawyers or accountants. Liability extends to those receiving confidential information from insiders (tippees). Insiders cannot tip others for trading advantages. If an insider tips an unrelated person, they are liable for damages and accountable to the corporation for benefits received.

Read More »
ChatGPT

Will ChatGPT Replace Lawyers?

In recent months, the rise of advanced artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies, such as Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, has sparked a debate about their potential impact on various industries, including the legal profession. The million-dollar question inevitably arises: Will LLMs replace lawyers (and perhaps judges also), or at the very least, lead to a massive paradigm shift in law practice?

Read More »
Apologies and Retractions in Defamation Law

Sorry, Not Sorry: Apologies & Retractions in Defamation Law

In defamation cases, an apology may play a crucial role in the assessment of damages. However, it is important to note that courts lack the jurisdiction to order defendants to apologize. The existence of an apology, the sincerity of the defendant, and the extent of the publicity given to the apology are factors that courts consider when determining damages.

Read More »
Tracing Commingled Funds - The Lowest Intermediate Balance Rule

Tracing Commingled Funds: Unraveling the LIBR Mystery

The Lowest Intermediate Balance Rule (“LIBR“) is an essential concept in the legal world, particularly in cases involving the tracing of funds. It is an evidential rule that assumes that when a person commingles their own funds with funds belonging to someone else, they are assumed to have spent their own funds first.

Read More »
Equitable Fraud

Unconscientious, Unconscionable, Unfair: Equitable Fraud

Traditionally, fraud has been understood as involving deceit or intentional misrepresentation. However, the courts have expanded the concept to encompass equitable or constructive fraud, which includes various forms of unfair dealing and unconscionable conduct in contractual matters.

Read More »
Abuse of Power

Suing a City: Abuse of Power Lawsuits

Yes, believe it or not, you can sue a city. Municipal corporations, which include cities, are no longer immune to liability as they were in the past. They can be held accountable for various wrongdoings, such as tortious acts, breaches of contract, and neglecting statutory duties.

Read More »
Property Damage Claims

Rylands v. Fletcher: Property Damage Claims

Rylands v. Fletcher is a landmark case in English tort law that established the principle of strict liability for certain harmful activities. The rule states that a person who uses their land for non-natural purposes and accumulates a potentially dangerous substance on their property may be held strictly liable if that substance escapes and causes damage to another’s property.

Read More »
Notice Requirements

The Fine Print: Notice Requirements in Ontario Defamation Law

In Ontario, special notice requirements apply to defamation cases involving libel in a newspaper printed and published in the province or a broadcast from a station within Ontario. Plaintiffs must provide written notice to the defendant within six weeks after becoming aware of the alleged libel.

Read More »
Tort of Conversion

The Battle for Chattel: Understanding the Tort of Conversion

The tort of conversion primarily deals with the unlawful interference of another person’s movable personal property, known as chattels. In contrast to trespass to goods, conversion demands more than just a simple invasion of the plaintiff’s possessory rights; it necessitates an interference that denies the plaintiff’s title.

Read More »
The Principal Residence Exemption

The Principal Residence Exemption

The term “principal residence” refers to a taxpayer’s primary dwelling or housing unit for a specific tax year. The taxpayer, their spouse, common-law partner, former spouse, or child must ordinarily inhabit the residence. A personal trust can also claim a principal residence if it is regularly occupied by a specified beneficiary or their immediate family.

Read More »
Intimidation

From Threats to Torts: The Law on Intimidation

The tort of intimidation, a relatively less explored area of common law, has been recognized and established through a series of judicial decisions. The House of Lords in Rookes v. Barnard (“Rookes“) formally acknowledged the existence of this tort, which has since been accepted as part of the common law in Canada.

Read More »
Cosmetics Business

Starting a Cosmetics Business: For Entrepreneurs

The Canadian cosmetics industry generates billions of dollars. In 2021, the cosmetics market in Canada generated approximately USD 1.24 billion in revenue, and industry revenue is expected to grow by 1.45% annually to reach USD 1.8 billion by 2024.

Read More »
Domestic Contracts

Domestic Contracts: Essential Knowledge for Ontario Couples

Ontario’s Family Law Act (“FLA”) contains provisions under Part IV that regulate domestic contracts, including cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts, and separation agreements. These agreements primarily focus on legally enforceable matters, such as property division, spousal support, and children’s education.

Read More »
Spousal Support

Understanding Spousal Support: Key Elements

In family law, spousal support is central to helping spouses who have become financially disadvantaged due to the breakdown of a marriage or common-law relationship. This post examines the legal principles and case law surrounding spousal support, discussing child support priority, general principles, and various factors that influence support amounts and duration.

Read More »
Shareholder Loans

The Tax Maze: How Shareholder Loans Impact Your Taxes

According to Section 15(2) of the Income Tax Act, a shareholder (or a person or partnership connected to the shareholder) may be deemed to have received a taxable benefit equal to the amount of a loan or debt made by a corporation. This taxable benefit is included in the shareholder’s income for the tax year in which the loan or debt arose.

Read More »
Internet Communication

Is Internet Communication a Broadcast in Defamation?

Over time, Canadian provincial legislation regulating defamation has been updated to incorporate modern communication methods. However, since most of this legislation does not explicitly address the Internet, judges are often required to draw parallels between Internet communications and traditional media forms, such as newspapers and broadcasts, that are covered by the legislation.

Read More »
Incorporating in Ontario

The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap to Incorporating in Ontario

Incorporating a company in Ontario has become more streamlined and accessible thanks to the introduction of the Ontario Business Registry on October 19, 2021. This guide will provide a detailed overview of the incorporation process, from preparing and submitting the required documentation to understanding the fees and legal obligations involved.

Read More »
I was sued

I Was Sued, Now What? (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Litigation is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the rules and procedures that govern the legal system. In this blog post, we explore the various stages of a lawsuit in Ontario, from the initial pleadings to the final trial.

Read More »
Class Action Certification

All for One, and One for All: Class Action Certification in Canada

In the Canadian legal landscape, class actions represent a powerful mechanism for individuals who have suffered similar harm or losses to collectively seek legal redress against a common defendant. These lawsuits serve multiple purposes, such as providing access to justice for people who might not have the means to pursue individual litigation, encouraging behavioural modification in large corporations or organizations, and promoting judicial efficiency by consolidating numerous related cases into a single legal action.

Read More »
Shareholders' Agreement

Drafting an Effective Shareholders’ Agreement

An essential contract for small non-offering corporations, shareholders’ agreements define the rights, privileges, liabilities, and responsibilities of each shareholder. These agreements, also known as “unanimous shareholders’ agreements,” offer a framework to govern various aspects of a corporation’s functioning, such as delineating shareholder roles, placing limitations on certain actions, and regulating share transfers.

Read More »