The respondents, who own land on the Spanish River, sued KVP, the operator of a pulp and paper mill up river, for pollution of the waters of the river by discharges from the mill. They secured a judgment in damages and an injunction restraining the defendant from depositing foreign substances at trial and the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, subject to a variation in the form of the injunction granted which KVP appealed to the Supreme Court arguing a new trial should be granted.
- When the cost of injunction is much greater than the nuisance caused, can an injunction be granted?
The Court, while recognizing the great discrepancy in costs, held that it could not overturn a decision of the Court of Appeal despite the Ontario legislature amending the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act to specifically allow the court to not grant an injunction. As this was not the law at the time of the Court of Appeal's decision, the Supreme Court was not empowered to overturn based on this new amendment.
The Ontario legislature subsequently passed The KVP Co. Ltd. Act. which dissolved the injunction against KVP while leaving the award of damages intact.