Trifield Construction Co. v. HC Matcon Inc., 2013 ONSC 6514

In this case, we successfully opposed an Appeal of the Construction Lien Master’s decision in a lien action to allow our client to increase the quantum of its counterclaim where the plaintiff forming trade had abandoned its contract and the defendant had not fully incurred all of its completion costs at the time it was forced to defend the action.  The plaintiff’s claim was for a mere $26,572.74.  In appealing the Master’s decision, the plaintiff hoped to cap the defendant’s counterclaim for backcharges and deficiencies to the value of its claim.  The Divisional Court agreed that the Master was within her discretion to allow the amendment and, more importantly, confirmed that the Master’s decision was ‘interlocutory’, such that no appeal could be brought from it until the completion of trial, pursuant to the provisions of the Construction Lien Act.  The Divisional Court also ordered the plaintiff to pay costs of $22,000.00 which (given the nominal amount of the plaintiff’s claim) effectively stopped the claim in its tracks.