Nash v. Aviva General Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 6723)

The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision that he was not entitled to IRBs. The claimant argued that the Tribunal incorrectly applied the SABS, misinterpreted the IRB sections, misapprehended the evidence, and breached natural justice. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that there were no errors of law committed by the Tribunal. The Tribunal’s decision to deny IRBs flowed from the findings of fact made by the adjudicator. The findings of fact were permissible in light of the evidence before the Tribunal, and the Court would not reweigh the evidence. The application of the SABS and the IRB test to the findings of fact was an issue of mixed fact and law, which was not appealable. The claimant failed to raise any issues of law upon which a reversible error had been made.

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.

Jevco Insurance Company v. Hang (2022 ONSC 4961)

The insurer brought an urgent motion for a stay of the scheduled hearing due to counsel’s unavailability to attend the hearing. Justice London-Weinstein applied the three-prong test from RJR MacDonald v. Canada (Attorney General) and concluded that a stay was not warranted. The insurer demonstrated that there was a serious issue to be tried, and that a party ought to have the right to select counsel of its choice. Counsel’s unavailability for a hearing was a factor in favour of the insurer. However, Justice London-Weinstein was not satisfied that there was irreparable harm to the insurer if the stay was not granted, but noted that the hearing adjudicator retained the right to adjourn the hearing if the appearance of fairness had been compromised. Justice London-Weinstein also noted that the insurer and its counsel did not provide any evidence that other lawyers at the firm were unable to step in and argue the case. Finally, the balance of convenience favoured the claimant, as the matter had been filed more than 500 days prior, and the claimant was going without benefits. The public also had an interest in the courts and tribunals functioning in an orderly manner.

Grewal v. Peel Mutual Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 4082)

The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s motion decision dismissing her request to add punitive damages to the LAT application. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal because the motion was an interlocutory step. The Tribunal’s decision could only be appealed upon the final decision on the merits.

Penney v. The Co-operators General Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 3874)

The claimant appealed the Tribunal’s decision denying her motion to remove the insurer’s counsel due to an alleged conflict of interest. The insurer’s counsel acted in the LAT dispute and in a priority dispute. The Divisional Court in The Personal v. Jia upheld a decision by the Tribunal that such representation in both matters was a conflict. In the present case, the Tribunal found that no conflict existed, and the matter was to proceed to a hearing. The Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the Tribunal’s order was interlocutory in nature, and the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The LAT Act restricted appeals to final decisions of the Tribunal. The Court was critical of the decision in The Personal v. Jia, stating that the panel hearing that matter erred in agreeing to hear the appeal, and the Court in the present matter declined to follow it. The Court commented+B2004 that a party could seek judicial review of an interlocutory decision, but only in exception circumstances, and the Court noted that the claimant in this matter had not sought judicial review.

Warren v. Licence Appeal Tribunal (2022 ONSC 3741)

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.

Singh v. Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 3361)

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.

Afshan v. Security National Insurance Co. (18-007658)

The claimant had initially sought a special award related to denial of NEBs. At a teleconference hearing an adjuster for the insurer gave testimony regarding the denial of benefits. At the conclusion of the hearing, the claimant requested that costs be added as an issue in dispute. Adjudicator Hines granted the request and the parties filed submissions. The claimant alleged that the insurer had unreasonably attempted to raise a preliminary issue to bar her from claiming NEBs based on s.44 non-compliance, when the insurer had not given proper notice when arranging the IE, and had also failed to comply with a production order. The claimant alleged that this behaviour resulted in a delay and prevented a fair hearing and sought costs in the amount of $12,500.00. Adjudicator Hines ruled that the insurer was not acting unreasonably by arguing s.44 non-compliance, but did act unreasonably and was in breach of the LAT order for failing to disclose all of the workflow correspondence between the insurer and the IE facility. During the hearing, claimant’s counsel noted that several pages were missing from the documents, which delayed the hearing as further review had to be undertaken. Adjudicator Hines rules that the insurer’s failure to comply with the production order constituted a blatant disrespect of the Tribunal’s process, and that the claimant had a right to transparency in understanding the adjusting of her claim and denial of benefits. As the delay caused an additional day to be added to the scheduled hearing, Adjudicator Hines awarded the claimant $500.00 in costs.

Bagherian v. Aviva Insurance Company (2022 ONSC 3103)

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.

Gore v. Rusk (2022 ONSC 2893)

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.