Court of Appeal strikes action against regulator as abuse of process

Stockwoods partner Brendan Van Niejenhuis persuaded the Ontario Court of Appeal that a civil action against the Ontario Racing Commission was an abuse of process. The plaintiff, Jason Gale, was found to have violated the rules requiring production of urine samples when requested to do so by a Commission investigator, in a 2005 discipline hearing. Subsequently, Gale sought to sue the Commission and the investigator for $500,000, alleging negligent investigation and breach of statutory duty, and asserting that the penalty and associated publicity resulted in harm to his reputation and emotional distress. Before Brockenshire J., Stockwoods lawyer Patti Latimer successfully obtained an order striking out the claim on summary judgment as an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal agreed and dismissed an appeal brought by Gale.