C.P. v. Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 5978)

The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision dismissing his claim for further IRBs, arguing that the Tribunal erred in allowing IE reports to be admitted without the Expert’s Duty form being completed, in applying the IRB test, and by failing to provide procedural fairness or natural justice. The Court dismissed the appeal. The Court held that the Tribunal had the discretion under the Rules to admit the IE reports without the expert’s form, and that the claimant had ample notice of the insurer’s reliance upon the IE reports. The Court also wrote that the Tribunal’s treatment of the IRB claim was entirely fair and supported by the SABS and the evidence before the adjudicator. Finally, the Tribunal found no denial of procedural fairness or natural justice. The claim was processed and managed within the parameters of the LAT Rules, and the claimant was made well aware of the insurer’s position and evidence it was relying upon.

Aviva Insurance Company of Canada v. Spence (2022 ONSC 4988)

The insurer appealed the Tribunal’s decision that EI sickness benefits are not deductible from IRBs as “gross employment income”. The Court reversed the Tribunal’s decision, holding that there was no ambiguity in the SABS, and that EI sickness benefits were deductible as “gross employment income”. The Court wrote that the Tribunal erred in not treating EI benefits similarly under the four sections it appears. The four sections operate together to treat EI benefits as income, regardless of whether they were being received before the accident, and treats all EI benefits similarly, regardless of the reason for which the benefits are being paid. There was no conflict in between the way EI benefits are deducted as gross employment income from IRBs and the way in which they are excluded from the definition of temporary disability benefits. The framing of the provisions ensured that EI benefits are treated consistently.

Co-Operators General Insurance Company v. Branden (2022 ONSC 2473)

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.

Giannoylis v Travelers Insurance (20-000280)

The claimant sought reconsideration of the Tribunal’s decision in which it found that he: (i) was not entitled to IRBS from August 10, 2018 to February 19, 2019; (ii) failed to provide sufficient particulars to calculate the IRBs payable from February 20, 2019 to January 11, 2021; and (iii) was not entitled to IRBs from January 12, 2021 to date and ongoing. With respect to issue (iii), both the claimant and the insurer agreed that the parties never intended for the Tribunal to make a finding regarding the claimant’s entitlement to IRBs in the post-104 week period. As such, Vice Chair Lake varied the decision to strike the paragraphs that addressed and made findings regarding the claimant’s entitlement to post-104 week IRBs. The remainder of the claimant’s request for reconsideration was dismissed. In dismissing the reconsideration, Vice Chair Lake found that there was no error of fact or law in her findings, and this was not a situation where it would have been appropriate to simply order IRBs payable subject to the claimant having yet another opportunity to provide additional information, given the claimant’s failure to comply with the Tribunal’s Order for productions.

Imeri v. Liberty Insurance (19-008097)

The claimant sought entitlement to IRBs, ACBs, various medical benefits and assessments, and the denied portion of catastrophic impairment assessments. Vice Chair Marzinotto granted entitlement to IRBs of $400.00 per week, psychological treatment and assessment, chronic pain assessment, and once further OT assessment as part of the catastrophic impairment assessments. She dismissed the claims for ACBs, assistive devices, and the cost of a catastrophic impairment file review. The claimant suffered chronic daily headaches as a result of an accident in which his large commercial truck rolled while travelling on the highway. The claimant also suffered psychological distress, concentration difficulties, memory problems, and panic attacks. He had not returned to work as a commercial truck driver. Vice Chair Marzinotto found that the claimant met the post-104 week “complete inability” test in relation to IRBs, as he would be unable to drive large commercial vehicles in a work capacity. The claimant’s use of his own personal vehicle to drive short distances did not compare to the requirements of a commercial truck driver. Regarding the claim for ACBs, Vice Chair Marzinotto rejected the argument that the claimant required 24 hour care for panic attacks. There was no evidence submitted that the claimant would not be able to respond to an emergency. Further, there was no evidence submitted that the claimant incurred any attendant care expenses, and it was noted that the claimant did not want strangers in the home, and that the claimant’s spouse provided no evidence of an economic loss. Further psychological treatment and an assessment was awarded, as was a chronic pain assessment. An occupational therapy driving assessment was granted as part of the catastrophic impairment assessments given the claimant’s previous work as a commercial truck driver; the claimed file review costs were denied, as file reviews were to be included in each $2,000 assessment fee.

Aflo v. Aviva General Insurance Company (20-001404)

The claimant applied to the LAT because its insurer sought to deduct EI sickness benefits from her IRBs as “gross employment income”. Vice Chair Johal found that EI sickness benefits were not deductible from an IRB. Vice Chair Johal rejected the insurer’s argument that the EI sickness benefits were being received as a result of the claimant being employed after the accident. Rather, it was held that the claimant was receiving the EI sickness benefits based on her employment before the accident. Vice Chair Johal also found that, even if the EI benefits had been deductible, the insurer would not be entitled to an IRB repayment because its notice seeking a repayment was deficient. The notice was incorrect in that it sought a repayment amount in excess of what should have been requested. Moreover, it did not provide a clear explanation of how the overpayment had been calculated. Given that insurers are able to unilaterally deduct benefits through an IRB repayment notice, Vice Chair Johal stated that notices needed to be accurate in order to prevent prejudice to claimants.

Huang v. The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company (19-006264)

The self-employed claimant sought entitlement to IRBs in the amount of $400.00 per week. The sole issue in dispute related to calculating the claimant’s quantum of IRB, as the insurer calculated the claimant’s IRB quantum at $0 per week. Adjudicator Kepman agreed with the insurer, and held that personal income tax returns and payroll summaries were not sufficient to calculate a self-employed person’s IRB, and further information, such as corporate income tax returns, the business’ monthly revenue, and labour costs were required. On that basis, Adjudicator Kepman dismissed the claimant’s claim.

Kunaseelan v. Aviva Insurance Company of Canada (20-000565)

The claimant sought entitlement to IRBs of $400.00 per week for the five month period between the date of loss and the date the OCF-3 was submitted. Adjudicator Norris dismissed the claim, holding that section 36(3) barred the claimant’s entitlement to IRBs for the period prior to OCF-3 submission. The claimant argued that the insurer failed to prove an OCF-3 in the application package, and that the insurer’s failure to comply with section 32(2) should result in her entitlement to IRBs during the period. The claimant relied upon a FSCO decision in Anthonipillai v. Security National in which a similar result was reached. Adjudicator Norris rejected the claimant’s arguments and found that the decision in Anthonipillai was incorrect and that the bar to receiving IRBs prior to submission of an OCF-3 was absolute. Adjudicator Norris also found that no interest was payable on IRBs that were back-paid to the claimant in May 2020 because the claimant had not provided sufficient information to support her claim for IRBs, meaning that IRBs were never actually overdue. Similarly, the claim for a special award was dismissed because the insurer was not required to pay IRBs while the claimant remained in non-compliance with requests for financial and income records.

S.V. v. Wawanesa Insurance (18-009702 and 20-001009)

The claimant applied to the LAT for a catastrophic impairment determination due to psychological impairment, IRBs, ACBs, and various medical benefits. Adjudicator Hines concluded that the claimant did not suffer a catastrophic impairment as a result of the accident. While the claimant did sustain a psychological impairment in the accident, he sustained only Class 2 Mild Impairments or Class 3 Moderate Impairments due to the accident. The claimant maintained his social contacts, and he communicated with assessors in an effective and pleasant manner; there was no evidence linking the claimant’s psychological impairments with his ability to perform activities of daily living; and the claimant remained independent with sustaining an ordinary routine without supervision, and used his judgment to make simple decisions. Adjudicator Hines was critical of the claimant’s experts, as they did not review the claimant’s pre-accident medical records which showed significant pre-accident health issues, and relied mainly on the claimant’s self-reporting. The claim was IRBs was denied, as the claimant failed to prove how his psychological impairments affected his ability to work. He also failed to submit financial records in support of a loss of income. The claim for ACBs was denied as the claimant’s Form 1 assessor relied upon the claimant’s self-reporting and she did not review the pre-accident medical records, nor did she understand the extent of the claimant’s pre-accident health issues. The medical benefits were denied because the claimant failed to prove the connection between the proposed treatment and the accident.

Amminikandiyil v. Unifund Assurance Company (19-010045)

The claimant sought entitlement to IRBs. The claimant claimed that she was employed for 26 of the last 52 weeks prior to the accident, and provided six paystubs to support her claim. Adjudicator Norris found that the claimant did not meet the minimum employment threshold to qualify for IRBs, as there was no evidence to show that she worked the requisite 26 weeks of the last 52 weeks preceding the accident. The paystubs were for her husband’s company, and provided no information as to the hours or days worked. Even if the paystubs were accepted, they indicated that the claimant worked, at most, 22 weeks out of the last 52 weeks prior to the accident. As a result, the claimant did not qualify for IRBs.