Family Violence: New Tort Recognized in Ontario

Gilbertson Davis LLPCivil Liability, Civil Litigation, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment0 Comments

In the recent decision, Ahluwalia v. Ahluwalia, 2022 ONSC 1303, the court recognized the new tort of “family violence” as a civil remedy, outside of the scope of family/criminal liability. The court awarded $150,000 “in compensatory, aggravated, and punitive damages for the tort of family violence”, recognizing that such an award “is well-outside the normal boundaries of family law”. Recognition of the New Tort of Family Violence The court recognized that the Divorce Act “does not create a complete statutory scheme to address all the legal issues that arise in a situation of alleged family violence” and does not provide the victim of family violence “with a direct avenue to obtain reparations for harms that flow directly from family violence and that go well-beyond the economic fallout of the marriage”. Further, the Divorce Act prohibits consideration of “misconduct” when making a spousal award. At “its heart, spousal support is compensatory … Read More

#MeToo – The Assessment of Damages in Sexual Assault Cases

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Negligence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released the decision in Zando v. Ali, 2018 ONCA 680, which involved an appeal of an assessment of damages in a sexual assault case.  This case confirms the principles to be used in determining damages in civil sexual assault cases and is particularly relevant in the current climate of the #MeToo movement. In this case, the parties were physicians and colleagues at the Sarnia General Hospital.  They had initially met after their residency examination in Toronto and became friends.  They were both married and had immigrated from Pakistan.  After completing their respective training elsewhere, they both ended up practicing medicine at the Sarnia General Hospital. The respondent alleged that the appellant sexually assaulted her on June 22, 1999 at her house.  The appellant had attended her house to complete an insurance medical form.  After completing the insurance form, the respondent alleged that the appellant took his clothes off, tripped her to the floor and sexually assaulted her. The trial … Read More