The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision that he was entitled to only $2,600 in IRBs, and that he was not entitled to a special award. His grounds of appeal were based on allegations of unfairness. First, he argued that the Tribunal’s reconsideration process was procedurally unfair because it permitted the adjudicator hearing the matter at first instance to also hear and decide the reconsideration. Second, he argued that the Tribunal’s error in assigning an adjudicator to decide a motion who had not heard the oral submissions rendered the whole matter unfair, despite the Tribunal cancelling that decision and re-assigning the correct adjudicator. The Court dismissed the appeal. The Court held that the Tribunal’s rules permitting the same adjudicator that heard the matter initially to conduct the reconsideration did not violate any principles of procedural fairness. Second, the Court held that the Tribunal corrected any breach of procedural fairness in re-assigning the correct adjudicator to decide a motion and cancelling the earlier decision. The Court also rejected an argument that the Tribunal was institutionally biased, which the claimant argued based on statistics showing that the Tribunal finds in favour of insurers more often than applicants.
The claimant appealed the LAT’s decision that she was not entitled to IRBs. She argued that she was denied procedural fairness by the Tribunal due to late production of raw testing data from an IE psychologist. She also argued that the insurer did not make best efforts to obtain the IE assessor’s records. The Court dismissed the appeal, finding that the claimant was given a fair hearing. The claimant had the IE reports well in advance of the hearing, and knew the case she had to meet in responding to the IE reports. The claimant was not restricted in the experts she could retain to respond to the IE reports. When the raw test data was delivered during the hearing, the Tribunal granted an adjournment of five weeks to allow the claimant and her expert to process the data. Additionally, the claimant was given the opportunity to cross-examine the IE assessor and test the reliability of her conclusions. The Court also determined that the Tribunal applied the correct legal test for determining whether the insurer made best efforts to obtain the IE assessor’s records. As such, there was no error of law.
The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision dismissing his application due to repeated non-attendance at IEs. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the LAT had the legal authority to dismiss the application. The claimant’s failure to cooperate in obtaining IEs interfered with the insurer’s ability to participate in the process before the Tribunal, and caused delay in the timely determination of the matter before the Tribunal. The Tribunal was justified in concluding that the claimant’s behaviour amounted to abuse of process. The Court also rejected the claimant’s argument that the Tribunal did not have the power to require that he sign a consent as part of the IE process. The Court affirmed that the Tribunal does have such power as part of its power to require the claimant to cooperate in the IE process.
The insurer appealed the Tribunal’s decision that the claimant suffered a catastrophic impairment, and that he was entitled to NEBs. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that both appeals were on matters of mixed fact and law and that there were no extricable legal error that had been demonstrated. The findings regarding each WPI allocation were findings of fact, as was the issue of whether combining certain ratings would entail double-counting or overlap. The Court also dismissed the argument that the reconsideration process was unfair because only one of the two adjudicators that heard the original matter conducted the reconsideration. The Court held that the Tribunal had broad authority to conduct reconsiderations, and that any adjudicator could hear the reconsideration, including the adjudicator or adjudicators hearing the original matter, or an entirely new adjudicator.
The insurer appealed the LAT’s decision which found that it was not permitted to deduct an LTD litigation settlement from the claimant’s ongoing IRBs. The Divisional Court rejected the appeal. The Court noted that the Tribunal made a finding of fact that the LTD settlement did not provide appropriate details to allow the insurer to deduct it from IRBs, because the settlement was not confined to payment for the LTD claim alone; it also included claims for punitive damages, costs, and interest. The release did not specify how much of the settlement was attributed to each head of damages in the LTD litigation. The Court rejected the analogy between IRB deductions and section 267.8 of the Insurance Act, which provided a separate basis for deduction of collateral benefits in the tort context.
The claimant appealed a production order made by the Tribunal for him to produce personal and corporate income tax records from his housekeeping provider. The Divisional Court granted the appeal and set aside the order. The Court explained that even though the production order was interlocutory, the order was “fatally flawed” and had to be set aside. First, the Tribunal erred in its understanding of the housekeeping claim. The productions were ordered produced on the belief that an economic loss was being advanced by the claimant and service provider. To the contrary, the housekeeper stated that she was acting in the course of employment though a company that existed prior to the claimant’s accident. Second, the Tribunal believed that the housekeeping provider was the spouse of the claimant. That finding was an error and not supported by any evidence, nor argued by either party. Finally, the claimant had no control or power to produce the records of the housekeeper, and could therefore not be ordered to produce the records.
The insurer appealed the Tribunal’s decision that the claimant was entitled to IRBs during a period of section 33 non-compliance. The Tribunal found that the claimant’s explanation for the delay in providing records was reasonable because she thought the insurer had access to her medical records by way of signed authorization, and that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress. The insurer argued that the Tribunal erred by applying subjective factors to the reasonable explanation. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the reasonable explanation under section 33 was not a strictly objective test, and that the reasonableness of the explanation had to be considered in the context of the particular claimant and take into account the remedial nature of the SABS.
The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision that she was barred from disputing NEBs due to the limitation period. She missed the limitation period by five days. The Court allowed the appeal, and ordered the Tribunal to rehear the preliminary limitation defence with a new adjudicator. The Court held that the Tribunal erred in three ways. First, the Tribunal improperly considered the length of the delay by considering the 735 days since the denial of NEBs rather than just the five day delay. Second, the Tribunal improperly analyzed the prejudice to the insurer by considering the prejudice that may have arisen during the entire 735 days since the denial of NEBs rather than the prejudice arising over the five day delay. Third, the Tribunal erred by excluding in reconsideration a new email from the claimant’s counsel to the insurer sent on the date the limitation period expired asking if the claimant had been paid NEBs.
The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision that he was not entitled to certain medical benefits because services were incurred prior to submission of a treatment plan, and that he could not add new claims for NEBs and a special award in his written submissions. The Divisional Court dismissed the appeal in its entirety. First, the Court held that the LAT was entitled to govern its own procedure, and there was no issue of law raised in the Tribunal’s refusal to allow additional issues in the original hearing. The claimant was free to commence a new LAT application for the new issues. Second, the Tribunal did not err in its application of section 38(2) which required the submission of a treatment plan prior to incurring a medical benefit. Further, the application of section 38(2) to the claim was one of mixed fact and law, which the Court did not have jurisdiction to interfere with.
The insurer appealed the Tribunal’s preliminary order excluding surveillance at an upcoming hearing. Justice Corbett dismissed the appeal, holding that it was premature and an abuse of process. If the insurer is ultimately unsuccessful at the hearing and if it decides to appeal, it will be open to the insurer to raise the issue of the Tribunal’s exclusion of surveillance as a basis for appeal.