Friday, July 26, 2013

Once again, no common law tort of invasion of privacy in British Columbia

Just to be sure it was dead (even before it was born), Madam Justice Russell of the BC Supreme Court heaved a shovelful of dirt on the common law tort of invasion of privacy in British Columbia in Ari v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2013 BCSC 1308.

In her decision released this week, Russell J. struck a claim for invasion of privacy from the plaintiff's pleadings:

[62] The Amended Claim alleges the Employee wilfully and without a claim of right breached the plaintiff’s right to privacy pursuant to the common law.

[63] There is no common law tort of invasion or breach of privacy in British Columbia: Hung v. Gardiner, 2002 BCSC 1234 (CanLII), 2002 BCSC 1234 (affirmed 2003 BCCA 257 (CanLII), 2003 BCCA 257) at para. 110; Bracken v. Vancouver Police Board, 2006 BCSC 189 (CanLII), 2006 BCSC 189 at para. 28.

[64] This status of the law was most recently affirmed by Mr. Justice Ball in Demcak v. Vo, 2013 BCSC 899 (CanLII), 2013 BCSC 899:

[8] The issue which arises from these allegations is whether there is a tort for breach of privacy in British Columbia. No common law tort of invasion or breach of privacy exists in British Columbia: Hung v. Gardiner, 2002 BCSC 1234 (CanLII), 2002 BCSC 1234 at para. 110 aff’d 2003 BCCA 257 (CanLII), 2003 BCCA 257 and Bracken v. Vancouver Police Board, 2006 BCSC 189 (CanLII), 2006 BCSC 189 at para. 28. The plaintiffs are not represented by counsel, and notwithstanding they appear to have received legal advice, the claim as filed is ill founded.

[65] Given the clear status of the law in British Columbia that the tort for invasion of privacy does not exist, it is “plain and obvious” that the claim for common law breach of privacy fails to disclose a reasonable claim. This claim will be struck.

It's dead, Jim.

1 comment:

David Collier-Brown said...

This looks on the face of it something of a "bad case", but I admit I find it odd that there is no such tort in common law there. Does this follow from a decision that's peculiar to BC, and is somehow unattractive to appeal?