by SUSAN MANN
The province’s egg industry expects a ruling shortly from an Ontario Superior Court of Justice on a motion to consolidate two court cases.
In both cases launched by Blackstock-based Sweda Farms Ltd., Ontario’s third largest egg grader, the company contends that several players in the province’s egg industry undermined its business, including Egg Farmers of Ontario, L.H. Gray & Son Limited, and Burnbrae Farms Ltd., which is Canada’s largest grader, plus several individuals connected to the marketing board and the grading companies. The hearing was held in a court in Oshawa last week.
Don Good, lawyer for Sweda Farms Ltd. refused to provide details on what happened during the public hearing in court last week “because everything we’re discussing is part of a sealing order” in connection with another case in London, Ontario. “I have to be very careful,” he said.
Good said the motion was to consolidate an action started against Egg Farmers of Ontario filed in a courthouse in Whitby (the courthouse has since been relocated to Oshawa) and another action started against egg companies Burnbrae Farms Ltd. and L.H. Gray & Son Limited in a court in Toronto. “We are amending the pleadings and bringing those two actions together,” he said.
In court documents, the egg board and the people named deny the allegations. None of the claims have been proven in court. Lawyers for L.H. Gray, Burnbrae and egg board did not respond to requests for an interview.
All documents are sealed in a case in a London court where L.H. Gray is suing former employee Norman Bourdeau for breach of fiduciary duty, confidentiality, good faith obligations, defamation and intentional interference in economic relations. Bourdeau, who worked as an information technology specialist for the company for several years, is countersuing L. H. Gray, for constructive and wrongful dismissal and wrongful termination of his contractor consulting agreement. None of the claims have been proven in court. Bourdeau is now representing himself.
Good says Justice Peter Lauwers said he would try to reach a decision as soon as possible. BF
Egg case archive