Shell Canada Limited v. Superior Plus Inc., 2007 ABQB 739 (CanLII)

  • December 03, 2007

Date: 2007-12-03 Docket: 0301 09751 Dennis G. Hart, J.C.Q.B.A. | Link

This action is a suit for damages from the evacuation of a mine site resulting from a fire caused by a leak from the defendant's propane delivery truck. The plaintiffs had also sued their insurance company for damages related to the fire and cost overruns during construction of the mine. The statement of defence had been amended with new allegations that the plaintiffs had failed to ensure a functioning and commissioned fire protection system. In this motion, the defendant alleges that the plaintiff is withholding relevant and material records, that the search terms were inadequate, and seeks further production. The insurance collection of 50,000 documents included 15,000 related to the fire. These 15,000 documents were reviewed by hand for relevance to the plaintiff's suit against the defendant. This review was supplemented with a keyword search. The remaining 35,000 documents in the insurance collection were searched for relevant documents using less intensive search criteria. The Court concluded that the approach taken by the plaintiffs to review the insurance documents complied with Principle 10 of the Ontario eDiscovery Guidelines, was reasonable, and that the additional production sought by the defendant will not yield relevant and material records.(para 41) The Court observed that the adequacy of the search terms would not be an "issue at all if counsel had collaborated on the terms as suggested in the Ontario Guidelines." (para 36) Dan Michaluk's blog has an excellent summary of the case.