Short term disability approved, but long term disability denied.

One issue I see all too frequently in my practice is the situation where an insurance company approves a short term disability claim for a period of time (perhaps the maximum time frame, usually no more than 180 days) but then turns around and denies the long term disability claim. Most individuals do not understand how the same insurance company, reviewing essentially the same evidence, and using what is frequently the same definition of disability, can make such contradictory findings. After reviewing hundred of disputed disability claims my experience is that most insureds are simply not...

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Court punishes defendants for not making admissions.

On May 25, 2016, the BC Supreme Court found the defendants at fault for a motor vehicle accident, and ordered that the defendants pay double costs for an “unreasonable” refusal to make admissions of facts sought in a notice to admit. In Ceperkovic v. MacDonald, 2016 BCSC 939, the defendants were sued for damages arising out of an accident involving three motor vehicles.  Prior to trial the defendants were served with a Notice to Admit seeking admission of various facts.  The defendants did not admit all of these facts requiring ultimate proof at trial. In finding the refusal to...

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Plagiarism renders expert report inadmissible.

On May 19, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Saunders, ruled that an expert report was inadmissible into evidence for numerous reasons, particularly plagiarism. In Anderson v. Pieters, 2016 BCSC 889,  the defence objected to the admissibility of a report produced by the plaintiff’s physician on numerous grounds.  The judge excluded the report stating that he “would not qualify Dr. Sank as an expert capable of offering the opinion evidence tendered in the April Report.” Saunders J. then identified a far more serious concern, namely that the physician...

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$90,000 damages for chronic neck and back pain.

On March 30, 2016, the BC Supreme Court assessed damages for chronic soft tissue injuries suffered in two motor vehicle accidents (“MVAs”). In Niijar v. Hill the plaintiff was involved in two MVAs, the first in 2010 the second in 2012.  The defendants admitted liability for both accidents.  As a result of one or both of the accidents, the plaintiff suffered from chronic neck and back soft tissue injuries which continued to the time of trial and were expected to continue into the future.  The Court assessed non-pecuniary damages at $90,000, but reduced this amount by 15% on the...

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CFL concussion case fails for lack of jurisdiction.

On March 11, 2016, the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court dismissed a case brought by a former BC Lions football for concussion related injuries, on the basis of wording in the league and player’s collective bargaining agreement. In Bruce v. Cohon, 2016 BCSC 491, the plaintiff, who played professional football with the CFL from 2001 – 2014, sued the league and its individual teams alleging that his career led to multiple concussions and sub-concussive injuries and he was negligently allowed to continue playing while displaying these symptoms. The defendants argued that the Court had no...

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