A Quebec court has dismissed a former fund rep’s effort to sue the province’s regulator, the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF), as part of a wrongful dismissal claim against her former firm.
The Quebec Superior Court in Montreal granted motions brought by the CSF — along with a judge, a notary and the notary’s insurer, the Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle de la Chambre des notaires du Québec — seeking to strike the allegations against them in a lawsuit brought by former Investors Group Inc. fund rep with Joanne Iacono.
According to the court’s ruling, Iacono is suing her former firm for wrongful dismissal after 24 years of service. The allegations have not been proven.
She named others including the CSF in the suit, seeking damages in connection with her dismissal.
The court said that Iacono was dismissed in 2019 after it came to light that she engaged in talks with a widowed client about purchasing the client’s home. However, the client (Mrs. Brown) ended up backing away from the proposed deal.
“In the meantime, Investors Group had, in April 2019, terminated its relationship with Ms. Iacono, viewing Ms. Iacono’s dealings with Mrs. Brown as being in breach of her conflict-of-interest obligations,” the court said.
In 2022, the CSF imposed a five-year suspension on her and a $5,000 fine. She is appealing that decision in court, the decision noted.
Additionally, the court said Iacono brought legal action over the failed home purchase, which she also lost.
“On November 17, 2020, the court dismissed the action, declared the relevant ‘promise to purchase’ null and void, declared Ms. Iacono’s proceedings abusive and condemned her to pay Mrs. Brown $20,853 to cover part of the latter’s legal fees and disbursements, as well as regular legal costs,” the Superior Court said.
Now, as part of the wrongful dismissal suit, Iacono also sought damages from the CSF, the notary that advised her on the home purchase and the judge that rejected the legal action over the failed real estate deal.
The court called Iacono’s proceedings “a kind of omnibus action seeking relief for a myriad of wrongs, going well beyond the direct consequences of her termination.”
The CSF, the judge and the notary all brought motions seeking dismissal of the allegations against them. The court sided with the defendants, noting that the judge and the CSF both enjoy statutory immunity.
It also dismissed the allegations against the notary. While “there could be a connection” between the advice and Iacono’s conduct that led to her termination, the court said there was “nevertheless no cogent theory of liability against the notary.”