W.P., et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al.

(Alberta) (Civil) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case) (Publication ban on party)


Civil procedure - Limitation of actions, Summary judgments, Torts.


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Civil Procedure – Limitations – Class proceedings – Summary judgment – Torts – Principles that apply to an application for summary judgment in a proposed class proceeding – Whether an entire claim by a class should be dismissed on a summary basis based on limitations defences – Whether application for summary judgment should be determined prior to, concurrent with, or after certification – Whether defences in respect of individual claims should be evaluated before or after certification – Whether test for summary judgment is whether there is a triable issue or whether there is any issue of merit or whether the claim or a defence is so compelling that the likelihood of it succeeding is very high.

WP, MP and EP were students and residents at the Alberta School for the Deaf. They allege that teachers and staff abused them and abused other students physically, sexually and/or emotionally between 1955 and 1995. They allege systemic negligence in the creation, operation, and management of the school allowed the abuse. They allege physical injury, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, suffering, decrease in ability to learn, and decreased enjoyment of life. WP, MP and EP left the school in 1977, 1970 and 1991, respectively. In 2008, they commenced a claim based in negligence, vicarious liability, breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty. They applied for certification under the Class Proceedings Act, S.A. 2003, c. C-16.5. The respondents cross-applied for summary judgment on the basis that the claims were barred under s. 3(1)(b) of the Limitations Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. L-12.