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Digest of the Week – Liability of Officers

Digest of the Week – Liability of Officers

Corporate officers can be separately liable for tortious conduct.

Watson v. TrojanOne Ltd.
2016 CarswellOnt 6479
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Business associations --- Specific matters of corporate organization — Directors and officers — Liabilities — Miscellaneous

Plaintiff employee alleged that he was subjected to pattern of harassing and bullying conduct by defendant officers of defendant corporate employer such that he was unable to continue working in hostile and poisoned work environment — Employee brought action against defendants, including with claim that outrageous conduct of officers constituted separate actionable wrong that deserved censure — Officers brought motion for relief, including to strike out action as against them on basis that claim was properly only against employer — Motion dismissed — Officer of corporation could be separately liable if officer engaged in his or her own tortious conduct for his or her own purposes independent of purposes of corporation — While pleading did not explicitly mention tort of intentional infliction of mental distress, elements of tort were present — Employee alleged independent wrongdoing by officers and claim against them should not be struck out.
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