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Delay not always a bar to a disability claim.

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

Delay not always a bar to a disability claim.

On September 21, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision to grant relief from forfeiture in Dube v. RBC Life Insurance Company, 2015 ONCA 641. Gregory Dube worked for a Community Housing Corporation in Windsor, Ontario. As a full-time employee, Dube was insured by RBC Life Insurance Co. against the risk of suffering a long-term disability. The RBC policy required claimants to submit proof of their claim to RBC within 90 days from the start of their disability, but granted an extra year to submit proof of the...

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ICBC punished for fraud allegation.

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

ICBC punished for fraud allegation.

On September 18, 2015, a judge of the BC Supreme Court found that that unproven allegations of fraud can be used as a factor to minimize a successful party’s costs entitlement after beating a formal offer. In Gupta v. Doe the plaintiff was involved in three separate collisions and sued for damages.   At trial the plaintiff was awarded just over $43,000.  Priro to trial ICBC made several formal offers, the first at $90,000 and the last at $164,000.  Having beaten their formal offer by a considerable margin ICBC asked for post offer costs. The...

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$800,000 for serious whiplash injury.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

$800,000 for serious whiplash injury.

On August 28, 2015, the BC Supreme Court awarded nearly $800,000 in damages to a a plaintiff who suffered a serious whiplash injury. In Kanters v Galasinao, 2015 BCSC 1532, the plaintiff Kanters suffered a whiplash injury to her neck following a 2007 motor vehicle accident. Despite having treatment with several chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and seeing numerous specialists, the pain persisted. The plaintiff attended an active rehabilitation program and was enrolled in a pain clinic where she was...

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“Low Velocity Impact” evidence found unhelpful.

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

“Low Velocity Impact” evidence found unhelpful.

On August 12, 2015, the BC Supreme Court considered ICBC’s favourite defence, the “low velocity impact”. In Pitcher v. Brown, 2015 BCSC 1415, the plaintiff was involved in a 2004 collision and sued for damages. The impact was a modest one. The Court rejected much of the plaintiff’s claim following credibility/reliability concerns in her testimony. The Court was equally dismissive of the defence strategy of calling engineering evidence to discuss the modest forces of the collision. The Court concluded, as have many previous...

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Worsening prognosis not enough to allow late DME.

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

Worsening prognosis not enough to allow late DME.

On August 7, 2015, a master of the BC Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff’s failure to recover from injuries is not enough for a defendant to secure a late defence medical exam. In Dzumhur v. Davoody, 2015 BCSC 1656, the plaintiff was injured in a a collision and sued for damages. In the course of the lawsuit the plaintiff served an expert report opining that the plaintiff ought to recover provided the injuries are responsive to recommended treatments. The defendant did not obtain a defence medical report and as the deadline approached for...

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Assertion of contemplated litigation doesn’t equal privilege.

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

Assertion of contemplated litigation doesn’t  equal privilege.

On August 6, 2015, the BC Supreme Court assessed the merits of a claim for litigation privilege in Buettner v. Gatto. The plaintiff in that case was injured in a collision and advanced a claim for damages.  The plaintiff retained counsel.  Liability was initially admitted and then denied by ICBC.  The plaintiff brought an application for production of various relevant documents and ICBC refused disclosure on the grounds that litigation was reasonably contemplated once the plaintiff retained counsel. The Court rejected this finding this...

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$67,500 for chronic soft tissue injuries and depression.

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

$67,500 for chronic soft tissue injuries and depression.

In Dhanji v. Holland, 2015 BCSC 1351, the plaintiff pedestrian was struck in a marked cross walk by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The defendant admitted fault for the collision. The plaintiff suffered a variety of soft tissue injuries, some of which were chronic in nature and developed depression secondary to this. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $67,500 (a figure which was arrived at following a 10% deduction in damages for the plaintiff’s failure to mitigate damages by refusing to attend recommended counselling) Mr. Justice...

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Bad faith claim leads to broad disclosure obligations.

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Bad faith claim leads to broad disclosure obligations.

Shirley Wade suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 2005. In 2008, her insurer, the  Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, stopped paying her disability benefits. Wade started  a lawsuit for breach of contract and bad faith against Wawanesa. During the discovery of Wawanesa’s representative on the bad faith claim, counsel for Wawanesa refused four requests for information, as follows: 1. During the 5 years before Wawanesa terminated Wade’s benefits, provide the number of policy holders who received income replacement...

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$110,000 for fractured fibs, knee injury and chronic pain.

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

$110,000 for fractured fibs, knee injury and chronic pain.

In Grewal v. Naumann, 2015 BCSC 1147, the plaintiff was involved in a 2007 T Bone collision. The collision was significant and resulted in 3 broken ribs, a knee injury requiring surgical intervention and a variety of soft tissue injuries resulting in some chronic symptoms. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $110,000 Mr. Justice Masuhara provided the following reasons: [120] My findings of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff from the Accident are: (a) three fractured ribs two of which were comminuted, and internal injuries which...

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No duty to investigate information from insured.

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

No duty to investigate information from insured.

On June 30, 2015, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court held that an insurer has no duty to investigate the information provided by the insured to unearth misrepresentations by the insured.  A broker was held liable for failing to make inquiries into whether an insured’s representative who completed the insurance applications had the necessary training or experience to do so and if not to discuss the benefits of property inspections with him. The insured was apportioned 50% liability for failing to ensure that its representatives handling...

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