A Vernon man in his 40’s suffered soft tissue injuries in an accident at a controlled intersection. The man retained Michael Yawney QC to pursue his claim for injuries. Mr. Yawney, along with his partner Allyson Edwards, was able to resolve the claim just prior to trial for over $185,000.00 plus costs.
A Kelowna man was pinned between a cube van and a wall when trying to help a young driver back out of an underground parking area. He retained Michael Yawney QC to pursue a claim against the corporate owner and driver of the cube van. The claim was complicated by the fact that the van was self insured by the company that owned it. The client suffered contusion injuries and soft tissue injuries to his leg and hip. The man’s injury claim was resolved before legal action was even filed for over $100,000.00.
A Vernon woman suffered soft tissue injuries, neck and back, in an accident in the North Okanagan. Michael Yawney QC and Allyson Edwards pursued the claim on the client’s behalf and were able to settle it shortly before trial for over $150,000.00 plus costs.
Happy Halloween from the Lawyers and Staff at Nixon Wenger! We hope you had a spooktacular day!
Pictured Above: Johnathan Clark, Associate at Nixon Wenger Lawyers.
Congratulations to Johnathan Clark who was recently elected as a new Board of Director for the Downtown Vernon Association.
Johnathan has a general solicitor’s practice, advising clients with respect to Estates and Estate Planning, Real Estate, and Corporate and Commercial transactions.
Written by Krystin Kempton, Associate
Directors have to comply with fiduciary duties and fulfill the duty of care. Fiduciary duties require directors to act in good faith and in the best interests of the company, to avoid conflicts and potential conflicts of duty and interest, and to not take advantage of company opportunities. The duty of care requires a director to exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person. A director can be held personally liable for losses suffered by the company if these duties are not followed.
Directors are also held to statutory liabilities, including:
• unpaid wages of employees under the Employment Standards Act – a director may be
personally liable for up to 2 months’ unpaid wages for each employee if he or she was a
director at the time the wages were earned or should have been paid;
• pollution offences;
• failure to maintain a safe work environment;
• misleading consumers; and
• insider trading.
To avoid liability, directors need to show that they exercised the appropriate standard of care and skill to prevent that failure. It is important to carry out director duties diligently. Good practices include, but are not limited to the following:
- • Be informed about your company. Keep up to date with the company’s affairs,
constating documents policies and risks.
- • Be prepared for and attend all board meetings. If you have special knowledge or
expertise, apply those skills when making decisions. Read all reports and minutes.
Have shareholders ratify director decisions.
- • Do not vote in favour of any transaction without understanding it. If you disagree with
a decision, register your dissent. If you don’t have your dissent registered, you’re
- deemed to have consented to a corporate activity. Don’t turn a wilfully blind eye to
- • Establish good policies to mitigate risk and delegate duties. Ensure these policies are followed.
- • Be informed about revenues and expenditures. Follow the money!
- • Avoid putting the company at financial risk.
- • Be aware of your duties:
- – Act in the best interests of the organization, not your own.
- – Disclose all conflicts of interest.
- – Do not use company property for personal benefit.
- – Be aware of and familiar with legislation setting out duties and liabilities of directors.
• Appoint good officers and ensure the company has effective staff under the direction
of the officers. Maintain open channels of communication between the board and the
- • any contract between a director and the company which could result in profit for that director,
or which furthers the interests of that director’s relatives or friends;
- • accepting a gift as a token of friendship from an employee of the company before a vote about
that employee takes place;
- • disclosing confidential information about the company for personal use;
- • and taking part in a decision to terminate an employee of a company who has had personal issues
with that director’s child or spouse.
- • disclose the interest to the other directors;
- • leave the meeting when the matter is discussed and voted on;
- • don’t do anything that might influence the discussion or vote; and
- • ensure the conflict has been recorded in the meeting minutes.
The other directors may approve a transaction that involves a conflict for a director, but the interested director must abstain from voting.
In practice, a director fulfills this duty of care by making informed decisions. Directors should always spend the time necessary to make reasonable decisions. This includes attending board meetings, learning about the issue, seeking input from the company’s officers, asking necessary questions and assessing the implications of a decision before voting.