Steinberg v. Adderley, 2024 ONCA 167

The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident in October 2011. He took out five litigation loans from BridgePoint totaling $65,500. The loans had compound interest rates ranging from 20% to 24%. The plaintiff settled his accident benefits claim for $1.25 million. His tort action was dismissed due to contempt of an order to attend medical assessments. BridgePoint sought $312,936.18 from the plaintiff on the loans and accrued interest. The motions judge reduced the interest amount based on delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario Court of Appeal reversed the motion judge’s decision and held that BridgePoint was entitled to the full amount it sought for principal and interest. It reasoned that once the motion judge found that the loan transactions were not unconscionable there was no basis to vary the interest owing. Litigation delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic could not be an independent basis to reduce the interest owing under loan agreements that the motion judge had found to be contractually sound. The loan agreements called for interest to continue until the loans were paid and to allow the pandemic to reduce a contractual interest would be to rewrite the agreements.

Dyck v Kent & Essex Mutual Insurance Company et al, 2023 ONSC 3725

This action arises from a rear end motor vehicle accident. The at-fault driver was operating a transport truck. The tractor portion was registered to Orchid Leasing Corp., however as of the time of the accident the tractor’s driver had made final payment on the lease, had received a bill of sale and ownership documentation, and had a letter authorizing transfer of ownership. In essence, the only “ownership” that Orchid had as of the time of the accident was as the registered owner with the MTO.

Orchid brought a summary judgment motion on the grounds that it was not the owner of the tractor and therefore was not vicariously liable under the Highway Traffic Act. Justice Hebner accepted the defendant’s position and granted the motion, dismissing the claim as against Orchid. Justice Hebner accepted that: Orchid agreed to sell the tractor to the driver and the driver paid the purchase price in full; Orchid gave the driver the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership; Orchid exercised no possession or control over the vehicle at the time of the accident; there was no evidence that Orchid retained keys to the vehicle; Orchid was not in a position to provide consent or withhold consent to operation of the vehicle at the material time; and Orchid did not have an insurance interest in the vehicle at the material time.

Emmanuel et al. v. RBC General Insurance Co. et al., 2022 ONSC 1718

The plaintiff was injured as a pedestrian, when she was struck by an unidentified truck in November 2014. She sustained a mild concussion and soft tissue injuries. Following a trial, a jury awarded her $75,000 in general damages, and awarded her husband $10,000 in damages pursuant to the Family Law Act. The plaintiff was found 75% at fault for the accident. The defendant brought a motion on threshold following the trial.

Justice Sugunasiri held that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold. As to her psychological injuries, the plaintiff did not seek any treatment after 2017. Additionally, she called no treating witnesses. From a physical perspective, Justice Sugunasiri noted: the plaintiff did not fill all possible prescription refills for pain medication; the plaintiff did not see a physiotherapist after December of 2014; the plaintiff did not see a doctor for pain, nor any doctor at all since the birth of her third child in September of 2019; the plaintiff worked at Red Lobster in February of 2019 doing kitchen prep until September of 2019 when her third child was due; and the plaintiff had three young children for whom she was primarily responsible until the children were eligible to attend junior kindergarten. Justice Sugunasiri rejected the expert evidence of physiatrist Dr. Ghouse because his conclusions were not supported by objective evidence. Justice Sugunasiri preferred the defence physiatry expert, Dr. Clark, who found that the plaintiff’s subjective reporting was inconsistent and unlikely to be related to ongoing injury or impairment.

Hummel v. Jantzi, 2019 ONSC 3571

The plaintiff sustained personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the defendant driver following his departure from the defendant bar. The plaintiff was a passenger in the defendant driver’s vehicle and had also attended the defendant bar on the evening of the accident. At the time of the collision, the plaintiff was not seat belted and the defendant driver was driving 30 km/h over the posted speed limit. Both the plaintiff and defendant driver had blood alcohol levels over the legal limits for operation of a motor vehicle. At trial, liability was apportioned 80% to the defendant driver and 20% to the defendant bar. The plaintiff was found 25% liable for his failure to wear a seatbelt, for entering into a vehicle which he knew would be operated by an impaired driver, and for encouraging the driver to drive faster. The bar was found to be 20% responsible for the contributory negligence.