Beware of Making Excessive Request for Particulars :

In Certified Equipment Sales v Iuorio, 2024 ONSC 2948, Justice Vermeer was hearing a motion for particulars in a case involving accusations of sexual harassment by an employee against the owner of the employer .

The Employer made 35 demands, claiming that without them, they could not file a defence.

Here is an example of the type of particulars requested and the Judges’, comments :

Demand #17
The statement in Iuorio’s pleading:
[Mr. Corbo] installed GPS monitoring devices on Ms. Iuorio’s cell phone and later her vehicle, which he used extensively to monitor her off-duty conduct.
Demand for Particulars:
Full particulars on how, where and when Mr. Corbo allegedly extensively monitored “her off-duty conduct” and “physically monitored Ms. Iuorio’s home”.
Iuorio’s Position: She has no further particulars to give with respect to this demand.
Mr. Corbo’s Reply:
Mr. Corbo cannot admit or deny this allegation without further particulars.

[13] I find it ridiculous that Corbo claims that he cannot admit or deny whether he put tracking devices on the responding party’s phone and car in order to monitor her, without further particulars. He certainly has fallen far short of showing that such information is not within his knowledge. Moreover, any further particulars, would be the evidence Iuorio has regarding him monitoring her through tracking devices and he is not entitled to her evidence on this issue at the pleading stage.

Here is another example of where the Judge denied the request :

In oral submissions, Corbo’s counsel particularly and repeatedly emphasized the vagueness of the allegation of, “physical contact in the hallways”, suggesting that it was so vague, it could refer to unwanted intercourse or
kissing. However, given that Iuorio has sworn in an affidavit that she cannot provide any further details of the physical contact that contributed to the sexual harassment, it defies common sense that the physical contact would involve unwanted intercourse in a hallway at work, or similarly unwanted kissing in a workplace hallway. Those are details she would be able to provide.

The Judge also negatively commented on the Employer’s counsels’ behaviour during the cross examination of his client on the affidavit filed in support of the motion and on counsel’s allegation that the employee’ lawyer had acted inappropriately.

30] Moreover, I find that making unfounded allegations of impropriety of opposing counsel should not be taken lightly. I further accept that Corbo’s counsel improperly frustrated the cross-examination of his client. I therefore find that the responding party is entitled to costs on an elevated basis.

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