Montréal (Canada) - Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, announced today that the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal that Union Carbide Canada filed against Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).
The Supreme Court judgment determines whether a mediation contract with an absolute confidentiality clause can displace common law settlement privilege, including exceptions to that privilege, thereby foreclosing parties from proving the terms of a settlement.
Disputes are pending between the parties in Québec and the United States over the gas tanks of personal watercraft: Bombardier argues that these tanks, supplied by Union Carbide, were unfit for normal use. The dispute brought before the Supreme Court concerned the confidentiality clause of a mediation contract signed in April 2011 that BRP argued did not preclude evidence of communications made in the course of mediation from being subsequently used to prove the existence and scope of the settlement agreed upon.
"BRP is very satisfied with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, which confirms that the common law settlement privilege and the exceptions thereto do exist in Québec. This ruling recognizes the importance of the judicial policy of encouraging dispute settlements and allows the parties to reach a verbal transaction during extrajudicial mediations," said Martin Sheehan, partner with Fasken Martineau's Commercial Litigation group.
The Fasken Martineau team that represented BRP in this dispute consisted of Martin Sheehan and Stéphanie Lavallée, with the support of Catherine Simonet.
About Fasken Martineau
Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. With more than 770 lawyers, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, London, Paris and Johannesburg. For additional information, please visit the firm's website at www.fasken.com.