Bhasin v. Hrynew et al. 2011 ABQB 637
Contracts - Performance or breach - Obligation to perform - Good faith - Exercise of
Canadian American Financial Corp. (Canada) Limited (CAFC) was in the business of selling education savings plans. To do so, it contracted with “Enrollment Directors” across the country. In 1989, Bhasin, then about 44 years old, signed his first contract with CAFC, and worked successfully for many years. In 1998, Bhasin signed a standard contract with CAFC, for a term of three years, automatically renewable for three year periods. The contract provided for several discretionary powers, including non-renewal by either party. In 2000, CAFC appointed Bhasin’s competitor, Hrynew, to the position of Provincial Trading Officer and directed that Hrynew was to audit Bhasin’s operation. Bhasin objected. CAFC did not renew the contract and did not provide a reason for the non-renewal. Bhasin lost his business. He sued CAFC and Hrynew, claiming several causes of action, including breach of contract by CAFC, intentional inducement of breach of contract by Hrynew, and civil conspiracy against CAFC and Hrynew.
The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench found that CAFC and Hrynew caused injury to Bhasin. CAFC breached the 1998 agreement, causing Bhasin to lose his business. Hrynew induced CAFC to breach the contract and thereby gained an advantage. Although Bhasin was able to join another company, it was not at the level that he had achieved at CAFC. The court determined Bhasin’s claim for loss of income and loss of his business. Bhasin was not entitled to punitive damages or any damages for emotional stress.