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Lawsuit Update from TSS Academy

On November 5, 2013, The Honourable Mr Justice Sigurdson provided his Reasons for Judgment on our action with the British Columbia Soccer Association (BCSA). This was essentially an application by the BCSA to have our action dismissed in its entirety as not having sufficient grounds to have the matter proceed to a full trial.

While a number of the claims of TSS were dismissed as a result of the application by BCSA, his Lordship has given leave to TSS to file an amended Notice of Civil Claim to allow it to pursue an alleged express or implied contract against the BCSA.

TSS Academy is confident moving forward and is currently revising its claim to incorporate the approved amendments. “We were well aware going into this that, under law, some of our claims would likely get set aside. Unfortunately, not every wrong that is claimed has a remedy in the legal arena “ says Colin Elmes, Managing Director of TSS and Co-owner of Sportstown BC. “We feel that the crux of our case falls under breach of contract and we had, from the outset, wanted to pursue our relief along these lines. It was, back in May 2012, fairly clear to us that the case law in this area was not strong enough for such an approach. However, a very recent precedent was set in a case involving the BC Medical Association and this created a stronger angle for us to pursue”.

Mr. Justice Sigurdson, in his comments, has highlighted this: “I expect the new amendments probably set out the claim that the plaintiffs have always intended to bring – namely, a claim for breach of an alleged express or implied contract against the defendant society”.

The BCSA, from the outset, has claimed that TSS Academy is a Member of the BCSA and as such should be taking up its grievance through an internal dispute resolution mechanism from within the provincial body and the Canadian Soccer Association. Mr. Justice Sigurdson, in reference to the BCSA’s claim that TSS has failed to exhaust their internal remedies, indicated that “There is no basis before me to conclude that the Plaintiff TSS would be able to obtain its requested relief under its claim for breach of contract from the CSA…….” . He also stated that “….the law is clear that there is no obligation to exhaust internal remedies if the remedy is ‘unreasonable, impractical and ineffective’”, and that “in appropriate circumstances the court will intervene on claims involving alleged implied or express contracts as well as breaches of natural justice.” A future decision will therefore have to be forthcoming concerning the breach of contract allegations.

We will continue to keep our Membership and the general soccer community updated as our action proceeds.

See related stories:

The Unlevel Playing Field

TSS Academy Takes Legal Action Against BC Soccer

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