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Simon Shields, LLB

ONTARIO LEGAL GUIDES
Since 2005

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Simon Shields,
LLB

Barrister and Solicitor
(Retired)
LSUC #37308N


simonshields@isp.com

Legal Writing and Research



Torts - Negligence - Causation

Martin-Vandenhende v. Myslik (Ont CA, 2015)

In this case the Court of Appeal briefly set out the correct approach to testing for causation of damages in tort:
[65] The basic test for determining causation is the “but for” test: Clements v. (Litigation Guardian of) Clements, 2012 SCC 32 (CanLII), [2012] 2 S.C.R. 181, at para. 8. The plaintiff must show that “but for” the defendant’s negligent act, the injury would not have occurred. Only if “special circumstances” make it impossible to prove “but for” causation and if applying the test “would offend basic notions of fairness and justice” will the “material contribution” test apply: Hanke v. Resurfice Corp., 2007 SCC 7 (CanLII), [2007] 1 S.C.R. 333, at paras. 24-25; Clements, at paras. 27-28.

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