Consultation reports are not “expert reports”.

On February 3, 2015, the BC Court of Appeal released Reasons criticizing and restricting the practice of shoehorning physicians consultation reports into evidence as expert opinion. In Healey v. Chung the plaintiff was injured in a 2005 pedestrian/vehicle collision.  At trial the plaintiff claimed it was a ‘catastrophic accident’ and sought damages between $485,000 and $1,037,000.  The trial judge rejected much of the plaintiff’s evidence and awarded damages of just over $50,000. In the course of the trial the defendant introduced consultation reports of treating medical practitioners into...

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$120,000 for chronic pain, PTSD and depression.

In Luis v. Marchiori, 2015 BCSC 1, the plaintiff was involved in two collisions, the first in 2008 and the second in 2011. ICBC admitted fault for both defendants. The plaintiff sustained chronic injuries and in valuing non-pecuniary damages at $120,000 Madam Justice Gray provided the following reasons: [178] I would summarize the significant factors as follows: a) Ms. Luis is 49 years old; b) In the accidents, Ms. Luis suffered predominantly soft-tissue injuries which have led to painful shoulder surgery, chronic disabling pain in her neck and right shoulder and lower back, moderate to...

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Parties to a contract must be honest with each other.

In Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, the Supreme Court clearly stated that there is a duty to be honest in the performance of a contract. Mr. Bhasin, started an action after his relationship with Canadian American Financial Corp. (“Can-Am”) soured. Ultimately, Can-Am refused to renew the dealership agreement it had with Mr. Bhasin. Mr. Bhasin had acted as an enrollment director for Can-Am, which was in the business of marking education savings plans to investors (“ESPs”). Like all other enrollment directors associated with Can-Am, Mr. Bhasin acted like a small...

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Orthopaedic exams have little value in chronic pain cases.

One of the more frustrating aspects of practicing in disability benefits law that that insurance companies repeatedly send claimants who have soft tissue, chronic pain injuries to orthopedic surgeons for “independent” medical examinations to determine their eligibility for certain benefits or the reasonableness of treatment plans. They are requested to perform these assessments even though they are typically outside their area of expertise. More often than not, the assessment finds “no objective evidence on ongoing impairment”, following which, the insurer denies all benefits....

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Motor vehicle lessor liability cap confirmed.

On November 6, 2014, the BC Court of Appeal released an important judgment concerning the liability limit of motor vehicle lessors for accidents involving their lessees or drivers operating leased vehicles with the lessee’s permission. Background In British Columbia, the Motor Vehicle Act makes owners, lessees, and lessors of vehicles vicariously liable for accidents committed by drivers of leased vehicles. While a permitted driver or a lessee is liable for the full extant for any damages flowing from the accident, the Motor Vehicle Act limits the liability of lessors. The limit of...

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Failure to provide policy or application extends limitation period.

On  November 4, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that an application for long-term disability benefits under a policy issued to his employer, submitted two and a half years after the deadline, was not submitted out of time because the insured had not been provided with the policy or claims documents by his employer. In Nguyen v. SSQ Life Insurance Co., 2914 ONSC 6405, the insurance company made an application to dismiss Mr. Nguyen’s claim for long-term disability benefits under a group policy issued to his employer, on the basis that the claim was made out of time. Mr....

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