Insurance company to stand trial for bad faith negotiations.

On May 17, 2018, the Manitoba Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from an insurance company’s unsuccessful application for summary judgment to dismiss a claim brought by its insured. In 3746292 Manitoba Ltd. v. Intact Insurance Co., 2018 MBCA 59, the insured was the owner of a mixed-use property in downtown Winnipeg consisting of residential apartments and commercial space. In 2010, an accidental fire caused significant damage. A dispute arose over the cost of repairs and the amount of a co-insurance penalty. The parties negotiated a settlement, and the insured property owner signed a...

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Car garage does not owe duty to drunk teenager injured in stolen car.

On May 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada  ruled that a commercial car garage did not owe a duty of care to a person who was injured in a car he had stolen from the garage. In Rankin (Rankin’s Garage & Sales) v. J.J., J.J., a teenager, suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a motor vehicle collision. He sued Rankin’s Garage & Sales, among other parties, for negligence because the car that he and another teenager stole from the garage had been left unlocked with the keys in the ashtray. At trial, the jury found multiple parties were found liable for J.J.’s injuries, which occurred...

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Manulife to pay benefits to brain-injured man, after a long battle.

On April 19, 2018, Ontario’s highest court ordered Manulife to pay long-term disability benefits to a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury and a severe back injury during a company-sponsored event on April 16, 2005. In  MacIvor v. Pitney Bowes Inc., [2018] O.J. No. 2105, 2018 ONCA 381, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), reversed a trial decision and found for Lenard MacIvor. Mr. MacIvor suffered a traumatic brain injury and a significant musculoskeletal injury during a company-sponsored event in Costa Rica. Mr. MacIvor, who worked at Pitney Bowes at the time, was...

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ICBC assessed costs for “improper act”.

On February 20, 2018, the BC Supreme Court assessed costs against ICBC in Garayt v. Deneumoustier, 2018 BCSC 295, for failing to abide by “very clear case law”. By way of background, when a lawyer in British Columbia receives trust funds a $15 “trust administration fee” must be assessed. For a description of the fee program, click  here.  This is a mandatory assessment. So, when a plaintiff retains a lawyer to resolve a dispute with ICBC this fee needs to be paid.  If the plaintiff is successful, ICBC ought to indemnify this fee as a disbursement.  They typically try...

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Insurer ordered to pay for emergency surgery while travelling.

On July 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of BC ordered an insurance company to pay for a British Columbia man’s emergency heart surgery while travelling. The court held, in Fletcher v. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, 2017 BCSC 1330, that the medical expenses Paul Fletcher incurred while outside of Canada were not excluded by the policy. The court made this finding after noting that Mr. Fletcher was advised by his treating physicians that: a) his condition was stable; b) he was safe to travel; and c) further testing could wait until after his travels. The disputed claim...

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Surveillance prohibited while attending medical examination.

On June 28, 2017, a judge of the BC Supreme Court prohibited a defendant from conducting video surveillance of a plaintiff who is compelled to attend a defence medical examination in a personal injury lawsuit. Rule 7-6(1) of  the Supreme Court Civil Rules allows compulsory examinations where the physical or mental condition of a person is in issue in an action. For many years defendants, or their insurers, have used these examinations as opportunities to conduct covert surveillance of plaintiffs in personal injury and disability lawsuits. This practice was considered by Mr. Justice Thompson,...

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