Sorbam Investments Limited v. Litwack, 2021 ONSC 6504

After a liability trial in this environmental contamination action, Justice Bell awarded the plaintiff $1.2 million for diminution of property value and $91,307.21 for engineering expenses. Justice Bell awarded pre-judgment interest on these amounts under s. 128 of the Courts of Justice Act. The parties sought direction as to the operative date for the calculation of pre-judgment interest. With respect to the damages for diminution of property damage, the plaintiff argued it should run from the date the defendant was put on notice of the contamination. The defendant argued the interest should only run from the date the plaintiff sold the property and the diminished value crystallized. Justice Bell agreed with the plaintiff, noting that pre-judgment interest (absent special circumstances) is ordinarily awarded to reflect the value of money wrongfully withheld from the plaintiff. With respect to the engineering expenses, Justice Bell held that interest ran only from the date the expenses were incurred.

Cobb v. Long Estate, 2017 ONCA 717

The Ontario Court of Appeal held that the January 1, 2015 amendment to s. 258.3(8.1) of the Insurance Act, which reduced the default rate of prejudgment intrest for non-pecuniary losses for bodily injury or death arising from the use or operation of an automible from five percent to the bank rate at the time the proceeding was commenced, became effective the day it came into force and applies to all initiated actions. The Court of Appeal found that the amendment to s.5.1(1) of the Court Proceedings for Automobile Accidents that Occur on or After November 1, 1996, O. Reg. 461/96, which increased the statutory deductible from $30,000.00 to $36,540.00, was intended to be retrospective and apply to all actions. The Court of Appeal also held that all IRBs and all payments in settlement of claims for IRBs received by a Plaintiff before trial were to be deducted from the total of all damages awarded at trial for past and future income loss arising from the same incident. Further, the Court of Appeal found that that tort defendant was also entitled to deduct housekeeping accident benefits from an award at trial for past and future housekeeping damages.