On August 15, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta denied a motion by the Alberta Securities Commission to toss out a proposed lawsuit against the regulator claiming negligence.
As reported by Investment Executive, on June 22, 2007, Elmer Amendt filed a pro se statement of claim against the commission, claiming to be a class action on behalf of all Albertans. The claim reportedly alleges that the ASC acted improperly on a complaint he filed, alleging that it uncovered violations of the securities legislation but failed to act on them. It also alleges that it acted in bad faith in its investigation.
Alhough securities commissions such as ASC are protected by statutory immunity for acts committed in good faith, the court found that, “a general assertion of good faith” is not enough to show no genuine issue for trial.
“To me it is not plain and obvious that the action will not succeed,” it said. To simply rely on an assertion of good faith, “would act as a complete bar to the initiation of any causes of action in negligence against the defendant. Such a mere statement would preclude in future cases any cause of action against the defendant and a future plaintiff would have no other means of proof to demonstrate differently as the defendant could rely on confidentiality and privilege to prevent that plaintiff from learning the findings of its investigation,” it said.
“In summary in considering all of the evidence from both parties I am of the view the ASC has not shown that there is no genuine issue for trial,” it concluded.