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Consultation reports are not “expert reports”.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

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...

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

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

$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...

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Parties to a contract must be honest with each other.

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

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...

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Orthopaedic exams have little value in chronic pain cases.

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

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”,...

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Motor vehicle lessor liability cap confirmed.

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

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...

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Failure to provide policy or application extends limitation period.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Insurance, Legal Update | 0 comments

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...

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Jury verdict “perverse” for not awarding damages.

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Injury Awards, Legal Update | 0 comments

Jury verdict “perverse” for not awarding damages.

On October 1, 2014 the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, ordered a retrial following a “perverse” jury finding in Kasli v Gill, 2014 BCSC 1833. The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision.  A jury found both parties equally to blame and, after factoring the liability split, awarded the plaintiff $10,000 for past wage loss and special damages.  The Jury awarded nothing for non-pecuniary loss.  Mr. Justice Weatherill ordered a new trial and in doing so provided the following reasons: [23]         While the court...

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Delaying LTD benefits may be bad faith.

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Delaying LTD benefits may be bad faith.

On September 17, 2014, the British Columbia Supreme Court refused to summarily dismiss an insured’s claim against the insurer and adjuster for breach of contract and the duty of fairness and good faith; however, the insured’s claims against the adjuster for inducement of breach of contract and interference with contractual relations were dismissed. In Frank v. Kalokina, 2014 BCSC 1866, the insured’s application for long-term disability benefits was denied by the adjuster for five months after the time of her claim. The insured alleges that in...

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Punitive damages for denied LTD benefits upheld on appeal.

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Bad Faith, Legal Update | 0 comments

Punitive damages for denied LTD benefits upheld on appeal.

On March 22, 2013, an Ontario judge ordered an insurer to pay $100,000 in aggravated damages and $200,000 in punitive damages after finding that the insurer had wrongfully denied its insured long-term disability benefits. In Fernandes v. Penncorp, 2013 ONSC 1637, the Honourable Justice Peter Hambly ordered Penncord Life Insurance Company to pay the damages to an injured employee. Facts The facts of the case are rather straightforward. The plaintiff was a bricklayer who had his own company. That company was profitable and had employees. When...

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Defence request for 2nd medical exam denied.

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Evidence, Legal Update | 0 comments

Defence request for 2nd medical exam denied.

On July 24, 2014, the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, confirmed that a second Court ordered defense medical exam is inappropriate solely in anticipation of an event which may not occur. In Litt v. Guo the plaintiff was involved in two collisions and sued for damages.  In the course of the lawsuit the plaintiff consented to a defence medical exam with a physician that addressed the plaintiff’s injuries.  As trial neared the defence applied for a further exam with a new physician arguing that the initial report was dated...

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