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Environmental litigation

Buyer can’t rely on Seller’s Environmental Reports

A recent decision out of Newfoundland should remind prospective purchasers of real estate NOT to count on Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) or other environmental reports commissioned by the seller, unless they acquire a specific contractual right to rely on that report, e.g. through a reliance letter. Real estate lawyers, take note, please. In Community Mental Health Initiative Inc. v. [...]

Anti-Fluoride in Drinking Water: Litigation Update

Will citizen group litigation and the threat of personal liability stop fluoridation of drinking water in Ontario? In our earlier blog post, we described a threat by an advocacy group called Concerned Residents of Peel to End Water Fluoridation (Concerned Residents) against Peel municipal councillors. The group threatened the councillors with personal liability if they did not stop the Region from [...]

No fault contaminated site liability in Nova Scotia

IMP Group International Inc. appealed unsuccessfully from a Nova Scotia Minister of the Environment Order to study and remediate offsite groundwater contamination that it did not cause.

Chevron intervention: what is the “public interest”?

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has been engaged in a fierce internal debate over the Association’s decision, now revoked, to intervene in Chevron’s appeal to the Supreme Court. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the case are seeking to enforce a $9.5 billion judgment obtained in Ecuador for terrible oil pollution and health damages allegedly caused by [...]

Appeal Court Rejects Pollution Exclusion in Oil Overflow

In O’Byrne et al. v. Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay), 2014 ONCA 543, the Ontario Court of Appeal has forced an insurer to pay for a fuel oil cleanup after a spill, despite a pollution exclusion clause. The case involved an “all risks” insurance policy. A tenant inserted a piece of cardboard to bypass a furnace thermostat so [...]

Quebec Court Recognizes Precautionary Principle for Belugas

Quebec Superior Court Justice Claudine Roy granted a temporary injunction on September 23, 2014, stopping Energy East Pipeline Ltd. and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. from conducting exploratory work in the St. Lawrence River near Cacouna, QC until October 15, after a critical period for beluga whale reproduction has passed. The injunction was sought by environmental groups [...]