Reducing work hours may imperil disability coverage.

Many people who are struggling to work due to an acute unexpected medical condition do not have the opportunity to prepare or plan for filing a short and or long term disability claim.  My experience is that most people who eventually file disability claims have chronic medical conditions which have been ongoing for months and even years. During this difficult period disabled people often find themselves engaged in an heroic effort to continue working.  People engage in this long battle for many reasons, one is often financial, and the other is simply their own credibility – they like...

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Use social media at your peril.

On June 7, 2016, a judge of the BC Supreme Court rejected claimed damages in a personal injury lawsuit due, in part, to concerns about the plaintiff’s credibility arising out of Facebook photos entered as evidence at trial. In Brennan v. Colinders, 2016 BCSC 1026, the plaintiff was involved in a 2012 motor vehicle accident for which the defendants admitted fault. The plaintiff claimed that the accident caused chronic problems which continued up to the time of trial. The judge rejected this claim, finding that the collision-related injuries had resolved. In awarding $20,000 in non-pecuniary...

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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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