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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Manulife pays $69 million to settle class action.

After almost eight years of litigation, a securities class action against Canada’s largest life insurance company settled for $69 million. In  Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund v Manulife Financial, 2017 ONSC 2669, the Ontario court approved the payment of honoraria to the representative plaintiffs, the payment of class counsel contingency-based legal fees, and the payment of a preliminary commission to a third-party litigation funder. Background Manulife Financial Corporation (“MFC”) is the largest life insurance company in Canada. In early 2004, MFC added several new guaranteed...

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A claims administrator may owe a duty of good faith to an insured.

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s bench held that where an insurer acts as a claims administration service only but makes decisions regarding the adjudication of claims, computation and issuance of benefits it owes a duty to the insured to act in good faith as it was adjudicating claims and benefits. As such, the traditional tort of intentional procurement of breach of contract is broad enough to capture bad faith actions by an adjuster that bring about the rejection of a meritorious claim for insurance benefits. In LeBlanc v. Atlantic Blue Cross Care, [2011] N.B.J. No. 446 (December...

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