A Note on the Perils of Love from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
In Lee v Riley, 2002 CarswellOnt 5558, the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant had “failed to advise her that he was involved with another woman”, whom he later married whilst carrying on an intimate relationship with the Plaintiff, within the context of an apparent ongoing, developing relationship. The Plaintiff claimed that, when she discovered the Defendant’s lies, she became ill and suffered damages. The Plaintiff sued the Defendant, proffering a number of causes of action against him, including assault, intentional infliction of mental suffering and fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation.
The Court commented that the Defendant’s conduct, as alleged, was “morally reprehensible and disgraceful.” Nevertheless, the Court went on to note that the law has never punished, either criminally nor in civil proceedings, the “untruths, half-truths and other inducement which accompany seduction, absence a fraudulent relationship or the presence of a known serious transmittable disease.” The Court held that the law simply cannot protect people against the kind of behavior alleged to have been undertaken by the Defendant, lamenting that “relationships involve risk-taking. People should be honest but it is well known that frequently, they are not.”
Ultimately, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s action, without costs (other than costs which had previously been ordered).