Settlement of less than 10% approved by Court of Appeal.

On November 29 2018, BC Court of Appeal approved the settlement of a claim which was potentially worth more than $400,000.00, for the all inclusive sum of 35,000.00. In Deo v. Vancouver, 2018 BCCA 464, a child suffered serious injuries at school, leaving him partially blind. He sued for damages and was largely unsuccessful on proving liability at trial. The child’s lawyer valued the claim at over $400,000, but before the liability appeals could be heard a settlement of $35,000 was reached. The child, being a minor, could not legally agree to any settlement and judicial approval...

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$600,000 life insurance ordered, even though replacement policy void.

On November 22, 2018, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ordered an insurance company to pay a $600,000 death benefit to the 2 surviving children and adult partner of a deceased man, Jeffery Moss. In Moss v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2018] A.J. No. 1383, 2018 ABQB 953, the deceased’s daughter, Daniella Moss, brought a summary trial application seeking a declaration as to the validity of two insurance policies. She was one of the beneficiaries of the two life insurance policies on her father’s life. The deceased purchased a $600,000 life insurance policy in...

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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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