Confidentiality clauses – why insurers love them, and why they should be abolished.

Most of my cases settle, often at mediation. Typically the insurer will bring a “standard” form of release to the mediation for my client to sign. If not, when the insurance company’s lawyer sends me the cheque it will be accompanied by a form of release which my client must sign in order to receive the settlement funds. In either case, the release will always contains something not usually discussed – a confidentiality clause. A confidentiality clause prohibits the parties to a settlement from disclosing the settlement terms. Confidentiality raises numerous problems. It can be bad for...

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Are LTD benefits taxable or non-taxable? It depends.

When assessing a litigated claim for long-term disability benefits, one very important consideration an insurance denial lawyer must always be aware of is whether the long-term disability benefits are taxable or non-taxable under the specific disability policy at issue in the claim. Long-term disability benefits are typically taxable under a policy when an employer pays a portion (or all) of the insurance premiums on a disability policy.  Long-term disability benefits are typically non-taxable under a policy when an employee pays 100% of the insurance premiums on the disability...

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Intact Insurance sued 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...

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Drunk teenager injured in stolen car cannot sue garage.

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,...

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Manulife ordered to pay LTD to brain injured man.

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...

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