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CORPORATIONS - Oppression remedy - Standing

Friday, March 15, 2019 @ 8:34 AM  

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Motion by the defendants for summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s oppression claim. Motion by the plaintiff to amend the oppression claim. The defendants asserted that the plaintiff had no standing to bring an oppression claim. The defendants filed affidavit evidence setting out that the plaintiff was not a shareholder of any of the corporations referred to in the statement of claim and was not a shareholder, officer, or director of 1093461 Ontario Limited, which held a 30 per cent interest in CKDX Radio Limited, which was 70 per cent owned by Evanov Communications. The plaintiff filed no evidence in response to the defendants’ motion record. In their notice of motion, the defendants also sought payment of costs personally by the plaintiff’s counsel, Kazandji, under Rule 57.07(1). With respect to the plaintiff’s motion to amend, he was seeking to add a new cause of action for a declaration that he was personally entitled to a 30 per cent interest in the radio assets acquired or developed by Evanov and Evanov Communications after December 21, 2000. In response, the defendants took the position that the claim on its face was statute-barred.

HELD: Defendants’ motion allowed. Plaintiffs’ motion dismissed. With respect to the defendants’ summary judgment motion, there was no evidence to maintain the plaintiff’s claim. The only evidence was from the defendants and it was therefore uncontested that the plaintiff had no status to bring an oppression claim against the defendants. The oppression action was dismissed. The plaintiff’s proposed amended claim was statute-barred. The alleged representation was in December 2000 and the plaintiff failed to lead any evidence in support of extending the limitation period. It was appropriate to grant the exceptional relief of costs personally against the plaintiff’s counsel, Kazandji. Kazandji caused wasted costs through repeated adjournments, failing to attend at hearings, taking untenable positions, and failing to comply with strict deadlines imposed by the court for delivery of materials. Such conduct warranted substantial indemnity costs. Costs of $20,000 were awarded against Kazandji personally.

Di Giuseppe v. Evanov, [2019] O.J. No. 591, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, B.T. Glustein J., February 6, 2019. Digest No. TLD-March112019011