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Archive for August, 2014

Relief from forfeiture under the Courts of Justice Act in auto insurance cases: A review of Kozel v. The Personal Insurance Company

Marie Hynes, Barrie LawyerThe Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Kozel v. The Personal Insurance Company, 2014 ONCA 130 has expanded the availability of relief from forfeiture under section 98 of the Courts of Justice Act. The court’s decision confirms that relief from forfeiture under this section is available for violations of statutory condition 4(1) of Ontario’s standard automobile insurance policy (OAP1), even where section 129 of the Insurance Act does not apply.

Kozel has altered the landscape for statutory condition 4(1) denials. The Court of Appeal held that driving with an expired licence is not non-compliance with a condition precedent in an insurance contract, but imperfect compliance. Kozel expands access to relief from forfeiture, concluding that only in rare cases will a finding of non-compliance be made. In most cases, the breach will be deemed imperfect compliance, and relief from forfeiture may be available.

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Marie practiced law in Toronto for 5 years before Carroll Heyd Chown LLP in 2014. Her practice has focused on accident benefits including loss transfer and priority disputes. She also regularly handles motor vehicle tort claims, occupiers’ liability, product liability, subrogation, and personal injury claims. Marie has represented clients before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, Financial Services Commission of Ontario and before private arbitrators.

Novice and young drivers: Beware of voiding your insurance coverage (updated)

Roger-Chown-Barrie-Lawyer-3Most novice and young drivers know the graduated licencing rules. Most of their parents do not. And very few people, young or old, appreciate the insurance implications that arise from violations of the graduated licencing rules, or the devastating personal consequences that can flow when coverage is not available because these rules are not followed. These results come from judicial interpretation of the graduated licencing regulations in several little-known court decisions.

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Roger’s practice is restricted to civil litigation, with a large focus on insurance-related litigation. He represents the interests of insurers, businesses and individuals in diverse claims including injury, property and products liability claims, as well as subrogated claims and business disputes.

Regulating road safety or enforcing debts? Bankruptcy and provincial licence suspension regimes

Can the driver’s licence of a person whose licence has been suspended due to an unpaid judgment remain suspended if the driver claims bankruptcy?  Two upcoming cases in the Supreme Court of Canada will decide this issue.

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Mark articled with Carroll Heyd Chown LLP and joined the firm as a lawyer following his June, 2014 Call to the Ontario Bar.

While at law school, Mark volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada, was a peer mentor, won the Harrison Shield moot court competition, and was an integral part of the defensive unit on UNB Law’s 2011 championship intramural flag football team.

Potential consequences of driving without insurance

The consequences of driving without car insurance can be severe and life-altering. What follows is a description of just how bad it can get if you drive without insurance.

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Roger’s practice is restricted to civil litigation, with a large focus on insurance-related litigation. He represents the interests of insurers, businesses and individuals in diverse claims including injury, property and products liability claims, as well as subrogated claims and business disputes.

Conditions for novice, young and other drivers in Ontario

Violation of any of the conditions of your driver’s licence may void your liability and collision insurance coverage, because under statutory condition 4(1) of the standard Ontario auto policy (OAP1), “the insured shall not drive or operate or permit any other person to drive or operate the automobile unless the insured or other person is authorized by law to drive or operate it.”  For the same reason, if the owner of a vehicle permits the driver to use the vehicle while any of the driver’s conditions are being violated, the owner risks voiding his or her insurance coverage.  To avoid coverage issues, make sure you understand and follow all of the conditions applicable to your driver’s licence, as well as those of anyone you allow to drive your vehicle.  Here are some of the details…

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Roger’s practice is restricted to civil litigation, with a large focus on insurance-related litigation. He represents the interests of insurers, businesses and individuals in diverse claims including injury, property and products liability claims, as well as subrogated claims and business disputes.

Does a retroactive denial of coverage bar a plaintiff from suing in an MVA?

Short answer, No. Or at least that is the answer in the case of Alof v. Ikeno, 2014 ONSC 2087 (CanLII)

In this case, Matheson J. considered section section 267.6 of the Insurance Act in the context of a retroactive denial of motor vehicle insurance coverage by a plaintiff’s insurer on a summary judgment motion brought by the defendant.

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Corey’s practice includes motor vehicle litigation (tort & accident benefits), construction/property claims, occupiers’ liability, subrogation, environmental litigation, personal injury, and coverage opinions/litigation. Corey has represented clients at trial and handled matters before the Ontario Court of Appeal.