Insuring both tortfeasor and victim creates conflict.

On April 24, 2015, a 3-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court, held that where an insurer insures both the tortfeasor for liability coverage and the victim for accident benefits, the insurer should set up a firewall so that information gathered by it regarding the accident benefits claim is not available in the tort action. In Dervisholli v. Cervenak the plaintiff insured was involved in a motor vehicle collision. The insurer insured both the plaintiff’s vehicle and the defendant’s vehicle under separate automobile policies. The plaintiff brought...

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Manulife tried to use maternity leave to reduce bonus, and lost.

On April 22, 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered Manulife  to pay damages of over $140,000 to a recruiter of financial advisors in a wrongful dismissal suit. The decision is noteworthy in that the court refused to allow Manulife to use its employee’s maternity leave as a reason to reduce her bonus payment. In Sowden v. Manulife Canada Ltd., the court ruled that Manulife owes damages to former employee Janice Sowden after she was dismissed in a “corporate restructuring”. In an earlier decision the court ruled, after a summary trial, that Sowden was entitled to...

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The “Standard of Proof” does not change for subjective injuries.

On April 16, 2015, the BC Supreme Court confirmed that the standard of proof does not change for a tort claim based on subjective soft tissue injuries. In Rabiee v. Rendleman, 2015 BCSC 595, the plaintiff was involved in a 2008 rear end collision. The defendant admitted fault but disputed injury pointing in part to the fact that the collision was minor. In accepting the plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries and assessing non-pecuniary damages at $40,000 Madam Justice Sharma provided the following comments about the standard of proof in low velocity impact prosecutions: [62] Given the...

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$100,000 for soft tissue injuries with psychological aspect.

On April 1, 2015, a judge of the BC Supreme Court assessed damages for a chronic pain condition stemming from collision related soft tissue injuries. In Karim v. Li the plaintiff was injured in a 2011 collision.  The defendant accepted fault for the crash.  The plaintiff suffered various soft tissue injuries which, coupled with psychological consequences, resulted in an ongoing chronic pain condition.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 Mr. Justice Abrioux provided the following reasons: (a) prior to the Accident, Mr. Karim was a hard-working and industrious man who had overcome...

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Young child need not be examined for discovery.

On March 12, 2015, a judge of the BC Supreme Court dismissed a defense application to conduct an examination for discovery of an 8 year old plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. In Dann-Mills v. Tessier, 2015 BCSC 386, the plaintiff was injured involved in a serious motor vehicle accident when he was 17 months old, allegedly suffering a serious traumatic brain injury.  A lawsuit was brought on his behalf by a litigation guardian.  The defendants sought a court order compelling the child to undergo an examination for discovery.  The Court found that this would be inappropriate and...

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Life insurance claim denied for misrepresentations.

On March 3, 2015, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal upheld the denial of a widow’s application for life insurance benefits following the death of her husband, the insured, because the insured had materially misrepresented his medical history in his application for life and disability insurance. In Linden Estate v. CUMIS Life Insurance Co., an insured applied for life and disability insurance. The application included a supplementary health questionnaire to be completed over the telephone. The questionnaire included questions about the insured’s medical history. The insured...

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