Suhl et al v. Larose et al

In this commercial/corporate litigation the plaintiffs invested money in a company which manufactured wellness formulas which one drank to improve health.

The defendant owner of the company then took those formulas to another company, which made substantial profits of almost $1 million, but refused to share with the plaintiffs any of those profits. Mr. Barron, acting for the plaintiffs, brought on a summary trial application (trial on affidavits) in an attempt to have the court resolve the matter promptly. The defendant thwarted this attempt to speedily resolve the matter by alleging, for the first time at the summary trial application, that not as much money was invested by the plaintiffs as they claimed. When questioned by the judge as to why this allegation had not been made earlier, the defendant informed the judge that he had told his lawyer (who was no longer acting for him) about it in the beginning, and that he did not know why his lawyer had not included it in his Statement of Defence. The result was that the summary trial application was adjourned by the judge, and the resolution of the case delayed.

Mr. Barron, doubtful of the defendant’s assertion that his lawyer was to blame, brought on an application to have the lawyer provide a statement in this regard, or to examine the lawyer under oath. The defendant opposed the application, asserting solicitor-client privilege, and refused to allow the lawyer to provide a statement. The court, however, ordered the lawyer to either provide a statement or be examined under oath. Shortly following this order the defendant elected to enter into a settlement with the plaintiffs.