Morrow v. Aviva Canada Inc

Another wrongful dismissal case, this decision represents the first time in the history of New Brunswick that an employee was awarded an “advance payment” of damages. Our client, Ms. Morrow, had been employed by Aviva Canada for approximately 20 years when she was laid off due to downsizing. The company provided her with only approximately three months’ notice of her job termination. After suing the employer for wrongful dismissal, Ms. Morrow made a motion to the Court of Queen’s Bench for “summary judgment” and an “advance payment” of compensation that she believed would be owed to her following a trial. Basically, Ms. Morrow asked the Court to immediately award her part of the compensation that she would likely be given at the end of a trial. Although the Court of Queen’s Bench rejected the motion because no such order had ever been given before, the Court of Appeal allowed our appeal and permitted a new application of Rules 22 and 47 of the Rules of Court.

The Morrow decision has had a very significant impact on employee and employer wrongful dismissal strategies in New Brunswick, and it is a decision which has been cited in legal education courses in various Canadian provinces.