The Court of Appeal Reconciles Conflicting Indemnity and Covenants to Insure: There is no Legal Rule that a Covenant to Insure necessarily bars Litigation

The Court of Appeal’s latest word on tort immunity is a good reminder of the importance of proper contractual interpretation, particularly where covenants to insure and indemnity obligations conflict with each other. Tort immunity refers to both covenants to insure and waivers of subrogation that prevent one party (or its insurer through a subrogated action) … Continued

One Year Later: Looking Back at Louis v Poitras

In January 2021, the Ontario Court of Appeal released Louis v Poitras,[1] the now definitive case on striking civil jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. Poitras was the culmination of the onslaught of motions to strike civil juries due to prejudice arising from pandemic-related delay. In a concise and strong decision, the Ontario Court of … Continued

Conducting Virtual Examinations

COVID-19 and the public health response to the global pandemic has had a significant impact on the conduct of civil litigation in Ontario and elsewhere.  The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has encouraged all regions to adopt virtual proceedings wherever possible.  It has requested that counsel and parties accommodate requests made by opposing counsel or … Continued

Discovering a Policy Breach Late in Litigation: Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada 2021 SCC 47

In the recent decision, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the application of promissory estoppel in the insurance context. Specifically, the Court considered whether an insurer was estopped from denying coverage because it had already provided a defence, before it … Continued

HRTO Update: Denying Services to a COVID-19 Positive Patient is not Discriminatory

In the recent decision of Jacobs v. MyHealth Centre, 2021 HRTO 1009, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) concluded that the denial of services to a patient who was presumptively positive with COVID-19 did not amount to discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”) Background Facts The Applicant, Steven Jacobs, attended the … Continued

It’s Time for Appellate Courts to Weigh In on Honoraria for Representative Plaintiffs in Class Actions

Honoraria have traditionally been available to representative plaintiffs in class actions in Ontario where the plaintiff has “gone well above and beyond the call of duty.”[1] In Smith Estate v National Money Mart Company,[2] the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the motion judge’s decision to grant a $3,000 honorarium because the representative plaintiff’s contributions to … Continued

Anti-SLAPP Legislation: Is it Working?

A legal proceeding intending to silence a group or individual who speaks out on matters of public interest is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics with less financial resources by forcing them to spend time and money to defend baseless lawsuits.[1] Examples of SLAPPs … Continued

Contractual Duty of Good Faith: Judicial Krazy Glue?

In late 2020 and early 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada revisited the duty of good faith in contract in two hotly anticipated decisions. In this paper, we will review these important decisions and how they have been interpreted by lower courts before identifying the key takeaways from these updates. Bhasin v Hrynew: introducing the organizing … Continued

Insurance Potpourri: Survey of Recent Case Law

Potpourri: an unusual or interesting mixture of things. – Cambridge Dictionary The last two years have certainly brought many new and interesting changes to the legal world, including some pertinent case law worth discussing. We have collected some compelling insurance cases covering a range of relevant topics. POLICY EXCLUSION CLAUSES Tataryn v. Axa Insurance Canada, 2021 … Continued