Appeal court ruling in Trump case a consumer protection win


A recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in a commercial real estate litigation may signal better protection for buyers, says Toronto litigator Isabelle Eckler.

In Singh v Trump, 2016 ONCA 747 (CanLII), two Toronto investors sued for damages after their purchase of hotel units in the Trump International Hotel failed to produce the profit margins promised in the developer's marketing material, she tells

They brought motions for partial summary judgment against the developer, which were dismissed on the basis that it was “objectively unreasonable,” for the plaintiffs to rely on the developer’s marketing material, but the appeal judge disagreed, points out Eckler, associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

“The developers were marketing the property on the basis that unit owners could take advantage of the hotel’s reservation program, which would allow them to make a profit,” she explains, noting that the case was further complicated by allegations that the developer’s profit estimates violated a breach of the Ontario’s Securities Act (OSC). “It appears that the developers wanted the Ontario Securities Commission to see the hotel units as real estate rather than securities.

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