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Top Five 2006: EB v Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

EB v Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the Province of British Columbia, [2005] 3 SCR 45, 2005 SCC 60

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked whether or not the owner of a residential school was liable for the sexually abusive conduct of one of its employees against a child resident.  The employee was an odd-job man: he worked as a baker and boat driver at the school.  The court determined that while “the employment relationship in this case provided [the employee] with the opportunity to commit the wrongful acts, his assigned role in relation to the students fell short of what is required to attract vicarious liability.” [para 51]. The full decision is available here.

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