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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?


In May 1999, a woman participated in a “Vegas” style golf tournament where a foursome always plays the team’s best ball. At the start of the 11th hole, the woman was hit in the forehead by a ball hit by another golfer teeing-off at the 10th hole, more than 120 yards away. A thick forest about 50 feet across, and made up of mature 40-foot trees, separates the two holes. The victim of the incident claims $66,000 against the golfer as compensation for her damages. The defendant recognizes that he missed his shot but maintains that he exhibited reasonable conduct and cannot be held responsible. He mentions that he did yell ‘fore’ (the accepted term for “heads-up” in the game of golf), as soon as he realized that the ball was headed towards the 11th fairway. He maintains that golfers must accept certain risks connected with playing the game and asserts that if responsibility must be assigned with respect to the accident, it falls on the golf club, given the course’s bad design.


Is the golfer responsible for the woman’s damages?


The claim is allowed in part. The Tribunal awards the victim $41,500 to be paid by the defendant.


Tribunals do recognize that individuals who play sports must accept certain known risks related to a particular activity. In this case,the Tribunal does not believe that the woman should have known that at that particular spot, she could be hit in the forehead by a golf ball. A large forest separates the fairways and the probability that a ball could pass through this protective zone is low. Further, the defendant made a mistake. He is an experienced golfer; he can hit the ball a long way, and he knows the course well. In this case, he made a bad shot, sending the ball in the wrong direction. The Tribunal believes that the defendant yelled “fore” much too late and that his manner of play was, to say the least, imprudent. He is responsible even if his act was not intentional. The golf club may also be responsible for a portion of the damages, but the defendant must take action against them for compensation. The claimant has the right to a $500 payment for expenses related to the accident. Further, the Tribunal awards her $30,000 for loss of salary since she could not work for a period of time, $6,000 for the aesthetic hardship she suffered, which is to say the scar over her eyebrow, and finally, $5,000 for pain, suffering and inconvenience, since she is more prone to headaches and now must take medication.

ReferencesGamache v. Dumont, Superior Court (SC), Bedford 460-05-000601, November 12, 2001, Judge: J.G. Dubois (J.E. 2001-2191; www.jugements.qc.ca)
Civil Code of Québec, (S.Q. 1991, c. 64), article 1457.

Legal brief *
June  2009
Number  11
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 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? more
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