CIVIL PROCEDURE - Trials - Severance of issues or parties

Law360 Canada (February 12, 2021, 6:16 AM EST) -- Appeal by the plaintiffs from an order bifurcating the issues of damages and liability. The underlying action sought damages for personal injuries suffered by an infant plaintiff in a fall from an apartment balcony. Neither side served a jury notice. The plaintiffs sought an adjournment of trial pending stabilization of the minor plaintiff’s injuries. A master granted the plaintiffs’ request but limited the adjournment to the damages trial and granted the defendants’ request to bifurcate the issues of damages and liability. The plaintiffs appealed on the basis that Rule 6.1.01 precluded a bifurcation order without their consent. The Divisional Court found that Rule 6.1.01 contemplated consent solely in instances of bifurcation of a jury trial. In the instance of a trial by judge alone, the court retained inherent jurisdiction to bifurcate without the consent of the parties. The plaintiffs appealed....
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