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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2009

Legal brief
As a result of my automobile accident, I no longer have any income This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


For two years, the claimant had held employment with a mining drilling company. He worked on call when the company required him to work. For more than six months, he had been working on a cycle of 28 consecutive days on the company’s job site, followed by 14 consecutive days of more

I filed a lawsuit in Small Claims Court This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You filed a lawsuit in the Small Claims Court. You were told that you could not be represented in Small Claims Court by a lawyer, yet the other party is represented by a lawyer who is an employee of the company. Can a lawyer represent his employer in Small Claims Court? more
Do my actions give rise to criminal liability? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When a person commits an act that has the effect of damaging property, the person will not always be criminally liable as a result, even if the act, on its surface, is wilful.


The accused was separated from her husband who had a new spouse. At nightfall, she wen more

I am being held in custody at my parent’s house This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your youngster has been arrested following serious charges and the court is of the opinion that, for the public’s protection, he should be held in custody in a reception centre. Can he be placed in the care of a responsible person? more
Am I dangerous due to my mental state? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Ambulance attendants came to my house and took me to the hospital although I refused to go. Upon my arrival, the doctors refused to let me leave and they decided to keep me there even though I was firmly opposed to being hospitalized. Can I be kept in the hospital against my will? more
My child was injured in the park This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your child is injured while playing in a municipal park. Can the municipality be held responsible? more
Do I have to repay my social assistance payments? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a recipient of individual social assistance, can you act as a sponsor for your partner or your children so they might immigrate to Quebec? more
I was fired following a strike This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You’ve been working in the public service for a number of years. Your union wins a strike vote and several days later, the strike begins. Your employer then fires you for having participated in an illegal strike. Are your union and your union representative responsible for your dismissal? more
I was injured while playing golf This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
While taking part in a golf tournament you were hit in the forehead by a golf ball as you were getting ready to make your tee shot on the 11th hole. Can the golfer whose ball hit you be required to compensate you for the damages you suffered? more
My coat is missing This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
After you have been seated at a restaurant, the waiter asks you to check your coat. At the end of the evening, your coat is missing. Can you make a claim against the restaurant for the value of your coat? more
My vehicle has been damaged This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You leave your automobile with a garage owner for repairs. Your car is damaged while in the garage’s parking area. Is the garage owner responsible for the damages to your car? more
My neighbour is harassing me This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your relationship with your neighbour is tense. You think that he is harassing you and overstepping his property rights. What are the limits with respect to property rights? more
I've been badly injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You go to a snow slide and rafting centre with your children. During a run, you are badly injured. Is the sliding centre responsible?


During school break, a woman takes her two children to a snow-sliding centre. During a run, the craft in which they are seated gets stuck. The woman gets out of the craft to try to push it. At that moment, another craft approaches at speed and collides head on with her raft. The woman is thrown several metres and has numerous injuries. She is left with a permanent partial disability. The woman claims $227,394.45 for disability, monetary loss, pain and suffering, the loss of the enjoyment of life, future losses as well as lawyer’s fees. For its part, the slide and rafting centre argues that the woman is responsible for the results of the accident because she should have remained seated in the craft. In fact, at several places in the sliding area, signs indicate that customers must remain seated in the craft at all times.


Did the slide and rafting centre make reasonable efforts to protect its customers from probable risks? Is the centre responsible for the customer’s injuries?
Did the woman act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances?


Damages and interest were awarded to the woman.


According to the slide and rafting centre’s procedures, only one craft at a time should go down the run. The attendant at the base of the run must be sure that the run is free before signalling the employee at the top of the run to let the next craft leave. At the time of the accident, the attendant in question at the base of the run believed that the run was empty and signalled that the next craft could leave the top of the run. In addition to checking that the run is empty, this attendant is required to take tickets and seat customers on the mechanical lift that takes them to the top. The judge noted that had there been an attendant on hand whose only job was to check that the run was empty, the risk of an accident would have been greatly diminished. As for the posters informing users that they should remain in the craft, the judge also determined that the posters were not sufficient to ensure customers’ safety. Neither were customers given any instructions as to the procedures to follow in the event of a craft being stuck on the run. It is reasonable to expect that a person would, under similar circumstances, try to get the craft moving again, and in fact other customers had done so in the past. The judge concludes that the woman was not in error, but rather, that the sliding centre had not made reasonable efforts to protect its customers against probable risks. The judge awards $122,135 in damages and interest to the mother. However, he does not grant her the reimbursement of the lawyer’s fees, as there had not been a breach of law on the part of the slide and rafting centre to justify such an award.

ReferencesBertrand v. 2151-8378 Québec inc. (Pente des pays d’en haut) (S.C.) Beauharnois 760-05-003893-011, January 24, 2005, judge : Pierre Béliveau (J.E. 2005-420; www.jugements.qc.ca)

Legal brief *
April  2009
Number  07
Text prepared by   Le jugement dont il est question dans cette chronique a été rendu en fonction des éléments de preuves soumis au tribunal. Chaque situation est particulière. Dans le doute, nous vous suggérons de consulter un avocat de l’aide juridique. / The jugement discussed in this article was rendered based on the evidence submitted to the court. Each situation is unique. If in doubt, we suggest you consult a legal aid lawyer.
Update by   Commission des services juridiques
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
My home has hidden defects This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You purchase a house. After you move in, you realize that it has major defects. Can you cancel the purchase? more
Am I responsible for my partner's debt?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your partner dies while engaged in a contract of suretyship (endorser). As the universal legatee (heir), are you responsible for your partner’s debt? more
My child has been injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When leaving school one day, your five-year-old is injured by ice falling from the roof of a building. The building is adjacent to the only road leading to the school; the school has access to the road by virtue of a servitude granted to the School Board. Who is responsible for the damages in thi more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017