Sutharsan et al. v. Stonehouse, CV-15-122624

This is a decision about the admissibility of a 911 call after a motor vehicle accident for the truth of its contents.

Heard November 18, 2016 | Full Decision [OTLA Document Bank]

This is a motion at the commencement of a jury trial, seeking to admit the 911 call made by the defendant Stonehouse immediately after the December 23, 2011 motor vehicle accident that is the subject of the trial.

The statement was tendered for the truth of its contents. It was available as both an audio recording and a transcript.

Justice Eberhard held that the statement was not admissible pursuant to the res gestae hearsay exception. Although the call was made shortly after the accident, Stonehouse had the presence of mind to call 911 and give accurate details of place and circumstance. There is no suggestion that his actions were dazed or unthinking.

Defence counsel also argued that the statement should be admitted using the principled exception to the hearsay rule (i.e. reliable and necessary).

Mr. Stonehouse is at the trial and will testify. Therefore there is no necessity and Justice Eberhard concluded that there was not sufficient reason to conclude that the admission of the 911 recording adds anything to the testimony that Stonehouse can give under oath and be subject to cross-examination.

The motion was dismissed.


Counsel for Plaintiffs (Responding Party): Robert Durante and Shane Henry

Counsel for Defendants (Moving Party): Peter Kazdan and Heather Douglas

Judge: Madam Justice M.P. Eberhard.

Read the full decision on the OTLA Document Bank
Ryan Murray
Written by

A partner at Oatley Vigmond, Ryan joined the firm in 2006 shortly after he was called to the bar in 2005. Ryan holds an Honours B.A. from York University, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) (Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution) from Osgoode Hall Law School.

When Ryan is not practicing law, he enjoys golfing and spending quality time with his wife and two young children.