Legal Word of the Day: “Egregious”

Image: crosa

Image: crosa

“Egregious”: Contemptible, inordinate, outrageous, excessive.

Egregious behaviour affects damage awards, including punitive damages. Canadian employment law and other civil litigation decisions have responded with increased punitive and other heads of damages, where egregious behaviour has been proved.

In Pate Estate v. Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (Townships) 2011 ONSC 6620 (CanLII), an Ontario judge, after being directed by the Ontario Court of Appeal to reassess an initial award of $25,000 for punitive damages to Mr. Pate, awarded $550,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiff.

See also:

Honda v. Keays 2008 SCC 39, [2008] 2 SCR 362
“Courts should only resort to punitive damages in exceptional cases and the employer’s conduct here was not sufficiently egregious or outrageous to warrant such damages.”

Wallace v. United Grain Growers 1997 CanLII 332 (SCC), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701
This case created “Wallace damages,” an award of damages for manner of dismissal. The contract of employment often reflects substantial power imbalances. As a result, it must be performed and terminated in good faith, and fairly.

%d bloggers like this: