L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal, et al. v. J. J., et al.
(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)
Civil procedure - Class actions - Civil procedure - Class action - Action for damages for sexual assault - Whether art. 2926.1 para. 2 C.C.Q. establishes time limit applicable to any action for damages for bodily injury resulting from act which could constitute criminal offence - If so, whether application to institute class action must be dismissed where right of applicant seeking to be appointed as representative plaintiff has been forfeited, on basis that criteria in art. 575(2) and (4) C.C.P. not met - Whether Court of Appeal should have considered issue of nature of time period in art. 2926.1 para. 2 C.C.Q. on its own initiative - Whether class action may be authorized against entity formed after commission of alleged offences in absence of allegations involving tangible facts, based solely on context and nature of class action contemplated by applicant - Whether Quebec Court of Appeal erred in interpreting and applying criterion in art. 575(1) C.C.P. by finding that issues submitted by respondent as issues to be dealt with collectively were, under law, identical, similar or related for all members, including those concerned by conclusion seeking damages specifically against Oratoire - Whether Quebec Court of Appeal erred in interpreting and applying criterion in art. 575(2) C.C.P., including by relying essentially on context of respondent’s claim to find that his mere allegation that abuse had been committed on premises owned by Oratoire was enough to establish sufficient cause of action against Oratoire - Whether Quebec Court of Appeal erred in declining to express view on interpretation, scope and application of art. 2926.1 para. 2 C.C.Q. and, if so, whether right of action that respondent is proposing to exercise in this case was extinguished by expiry of time limit of three years from death of Father Bernard on January 16, 2001 - Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR, c. C 25 (repealed), art. 1003 - Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR, c. C 25.01, art. 575 - Civil Code of Québec, arts. 2878, 2904 and 2926.1.
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The respondent J.J. attended the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges elementary school for four years, from 1951 to 1955, when he and his family were living in a dwelling owned by the appellant and intervener La Province canadienne de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix that was near the appellant and intervener L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. He alleges that he was sexually assaulted by members of the Congrégation de Sainte-Croix during that time, both at the elementary school and at the Oratoire. The respondent allegedly kept silent about the sexual assault until he saw a report in 2011 on the sexual assaults committed by members of the Congrégation de Sainte-Croix that had been prepared by the public affairs show Enquête and broadcast on Radio Canada. Convinced that hundreds of people had also been sexually assaulted by members of the Congrégation de Sainte-Croix, the respondent asked a court to authorize a class action against the appellants and interveners and to appoint him as representative plaintiff.
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