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$140,000 for “very serious” femur fracture.

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

$140,000 for “very serious” femur fracture.

On August 29, 2013, the BC Supreme Court assessed damages for a serious femur injury and moderate wrist in jury. In Han v. Chahal the plaintiff pedestrian was injuries when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle while walking in a marked cross walk.  The defendant was found fully responsible for the crash.  The plaintiff suffered a variety of injuries the most serious of which was a fractured femur.  Although the Court found some issues with the plaintiff’s reliability as a witness the Court did accept the injury left her with a degree of...

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Knock down the house of cards.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

Knock down the house of cards.

On August 23, 2013 a judge of the Supreme Court of BC held that when opinion evidence is introduced into court the factual underpinnings upon which the opinion is based must be proven, otherwise the opinion evidence is of no value. In Paller v. Regan, 2013 BCSC 1672, the plaintiff was injured in a 2009 collision. ICBC admitted the defendant was at fault but disputed the collision caused any injuries. In support of their position they relied on an orthopaedic surgeon who never examined the plaintiff but provided an opinion that it was...

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One judge’s clarity is another’s ambiguity.

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

One judge’s clarity is another’s ambiguity.

On June 4, 2013, the BC Court of Appeal reversed a trial decision in McLean v. Canadian Premier Life Insurance, 2013 BCCA 264,and in an unanimous decision allowed the appeal and held that the insured was entitled to the $1 million benefit provided by the policy. The McLean appeal decision is an interesting example of how one judge’s clarity is another’s ambiguity. The trial judge found that “the words of the contract are clear and unambiguous” and held that the loss did not come within the policy terms. Specifically, holding that at the time...

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Insurer who honours policy may still breach the duty of good faith.

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Insurer who honours policy may still breach the duty of good faith.

On February 25, 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal substantially allowed an appeal from a lower court decision striking out numerous claims in a proposed class action relating to the sale and administration of four types of life insurance policies. In Kang v. Sun Life, 2013 ONCA 118, the Court of Appeal held that plaintiffs’ claims for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing and for deceit and fraud were not mere reiterations of the plaintiffs’ claim for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation and should be allowed to...

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Employer ordered to pay $100,000 punitive damages.

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Employer ordered to pay $100,000 punitive damages.

On January 31, 2013, the British Columbia Court awarded an employee $100,000.00 in punitive damages as a result of the defendant employer’s conduct, which was found to be malicious and vindictive, in breach of its obligations of good faith and fair dealing in the manner in which the employee was terminated. The employer’s egregious conduct continued “unbroken” throughout the legal proceeding. The Court awarded punitive damages against the employer to punish, denounce, and deter future actions, which included: 1. The employer refused to pay...

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When a policy lapses, a new agreement must be made.

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

When a policy lapses, a new agreement must be made.

On January 11, 2013, the  BC Court of Appeal decided in Khosah v. Canada Life Assurance Co. that where coverage under an original policy lapses in accordance with its own terms, the principles of contract formation, rather than contractual interpretation, may apply in determining whether a new policy has come into existence. The issue on appeal was whether the beneficiary’s deceased husband, the insured, obtained temporary insurance coverage from the insurer while the insurer processed the insured’s application for reinstatement...

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Insurer has 6 years to sue insured.

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

Insurer has 6 years to sue insured.

On November 28, 2012, in Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Catalano, [2012] B.C.J. No. 2566,British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed an application by an insured under a long term disability policy (“Catalano”) to dismiss an action by the disability insurer (“Sun Life”) seeking to recover insurance monies under a reimbursement agreement. The Court held that the applicable limitation period was six years. Catalano worked for Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. until February 2003. He became disabled and was provided long term...

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ICBC’s expert given “very little weight” for failure to examine.

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

ICBC’s expert given “very little weight” for failure to examine.

The failure of a doctor to examine a plaintiff is not, in and of itself, a barrier to the physician from providing opinion evidence to the BC Supreme Court. However, often little weight is attached to a doctor’s opinion in such circumstances. This was demonstrated in Rizzotti v. Doe, 2012 BCSC 1330,  the plaintiff suffered psychological injuries in a serious collision in which the offending motorist died. At trial the plaintiff tendered expert evidence addressing the extent of her injuries. The defendant tendered a report from a psychiatrist,...

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Insurer pays $100,000 punitive damages for alleging fraud.

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Insurer pays $100,000 punitive damages for alleging fraud.

On June 22, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded $100,000 in punitive damages against an insurer for alleging fraud against its insured in respect of a fire loss in circumstances which the Court described as a “high-stakes litigation strategy”. Brandiferri v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. involved a fire loss at the insureds’ home. The garage and its contents were destroyed and smoke penetrated the house. In one action the insureds claimed that Strone Construction was liable for the deficient remedial work and...

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Death benefits denied due to substance abuse.

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

Death benefits denied due to substance abuse.

On April 26, 2012, the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed an application by a widow for an order that a group creditor insurer pay her pursuant to a policy of insurance following her husband’s death. In Laird v. First Canadian Insurance Corp., the applicant, Mrs. Laird, and her husband, Mr. Laird, purchased group credit insurance when they purchased a new vehicle. On the application for insurance Mr. Laird answered “yes” to a question about whether he suffered from “any illness/disorder of the heart, brain, lungs, kidney, liver,...

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