Home Featured Workplace sexual harassment case against Back Country Tours stalled by death of respondent, $17 million estate debt

Workplace sexual harassment case against Back Country Tours stalled by death of respondent, $17 million estate debt

by HR Law Canada

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ordered the estate of a deceased man, accused of sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination, to clarify its bankruptcy status.

The case against Back Country Tours Inc., has been mired in complications since the passing of the personal respondent, a key figure in the corporate respondent.

C.C., the applicant, filed a claim against Back Country Tours Inc. alleging sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The case took a complicated turn when the personal respondent, the sole director of Back Country Tours Inc., passed away in December 2020. This development left the case in legal limbo as C.C. and her counsel attempted to navigate the complexities of dealing with the respondent’s estate.

Following the respondent’s death, counsel for the estate disclosed a $17 million judgment against the estate, suggesting that the executors had been advised to file for bankruptcy. Despite multiple attempts by C.C.’s counsel to confirm the estate’s status, clear information was not forthcoming, leading to further delays.

On June 12, 2024, the Tribunal issued a decisive order to address these uncertainties. The order mandates that the estate’s counsel must provide a Certificate of Appointment pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, confirming the filing of an assignment in bankruptcy and naming the trustee. Additionally, Back Country Tours Inc. is required to disclose any documentation related to its bankruptcy status.

The tribunal’s order also requires the estate to produce documentation of the $17 million judgment and suspends disclosure deadlines until further notice.

For more information, see Cloutier v. Back Country Tours Inc., 2024 HRTO 822 (CanLII).

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