Amchem Products Inc. v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board)

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Amchem Products Inc. v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board)
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: May 25, 1992
Judgment: March 25, 1993
Full case name Workers' Compensation Board and others v. Amchem Products Incorporated and others;
Workers' Compensation Board and others v. T & N plc;
Workers' Compensation Board and others v. The Flintkote Company
Citations [1993] 1 S.C.R. 897
Docket No. 22256
Prior history Judgment against the Workers' Compensation Board by the Court of Appeal for British Columbia
Ruling Appeal granted.
Holding
  1. An injunction to prevent a party from filing a claim in a different court should only be done when a serious injustice will occur if the other court fails to decline jurisdiction, and should not be done if there is pending proceeding in another court.
  2. The test for declining jurisdiction is whether there is another forum more convenient and appropriate for pursuit of the action and securing the ends of justice.
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Antonio Lamer
Puisne Justices: Gérard La Forest, Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, John Sopinka, Charles Gonthier, Peter Cory, Beverley McLachlin, William Stevenson, Frank Iacobucci
Reasons given
Unanimous reasons by Sopinka J.
Lamer C.J. and L'Heureux-Dubé, Stevenson, and Iacobucci JJ. took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Amchem Products Inc. v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 897 is a leading decision on forum non conveniens by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court overturned an anti-suit injunction issued by the British Columbia Supreme Court against the courts in Texas on the basis that the British Columbia (BC) court was not necessarily the better forum for the case.

Background[edit]

A number of BC residents began an action against several US manufacturers of asbestos in Texas. The Texas court accepted jurisdiction over the matter and heard the case. The manufacturers applied to the BC Supreme Court to issue an anti-suit injunction, arguing that the proper forum for the plaintiffs would be in BC and not Texas.

The BC Supreme Court issued the injunction. In response, Texas issued an "anti-anti-suit injunction". The BC Supreme Court judgment was upheld on appeal to the BC Court of Appeal.

Ruling of the Court[edit]

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the judgment and found that there was insufficient grounds to deny Texas jurisdiction.

The Court adopts the test for forum non conveniens from Spiliada Maritime Corp. v. Cansulex Ltd., [1987] A.C. 460 [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

See also[edit]

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