While acting for a real estate developer, our Associate, Shane Greaves, successfully argued to have a former buyer’s appeal dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The developer sold a yet-to-be-built home to the buyer in a transaction that was not scheduled to close until many months later. Prior to the closing, however, the value of the property had dropped significantly, and the buyer advised the developer that she was out of the country and could not close the transaction for personal reasons. The developer offered to extend the closing date, but the buyer did not respond to that offer. Eventually, the transaction did not close, and the developer sued the buyer for damages arising from the breach of the purchase/sale agreement.
In October 2020, Shane obtained summary judgment on behalf of the developer and the buyer was ordered to pay damages of over $311,000. Summary judgment is a process which allows a party to obtain judgment (on their claim or defence) without having to proceed through the formal trial process. Summary judgment is available where the Court can be satisfied that there is “no genuine issue requiring a trial” with respect to the other party’s claim or defence. If successful, a motion for summary judgment can greatly reduce the time and costs associated with obtaining judgment in a lawsuit.
The buyer then appealed the granting of summary judgment to the Ontario Court of Appeal where the buyer’s counsel argued that the lower court had made clear and palpable errors in its finding of facts. The buyer’s counsel also argued that summary judgment was inappropriate because the buyer was suing its real estate agent in relation to the failed transaction (through a Third Party Claim) and believed that the Third Party Claim should adjudicated at the same trial as the buyer’s claim.
The Court of Appeal rejected all of the buyer’s arguments, and instead unanimously agreed with the developer’s position as argued by Shane that the lower court had made no palpable errors in assessing the evidence and that the issues raised on the summary judgment motion could be expeditiously and justly determined without a trial and prior to adjudication of the Third Party Claim.
The appeal was therefore dismissed.
The information contained in this article is for general information only and is not intended as legal advice or opinion. Should you require any advice or assistance with this or any other issue affecting your business, then please do not hesitate to contact us.