If you find a road that you commonly use to access your cottage blocked or you are considering blocking other motorists from using an access road which crosses your property, you should understand the effect of the Road Access Act.
When a plaintiff is successful in a lawsuit, they are generally entitled to prejudgment interest (PJI) on their damage award. Prejudgment interest is awarded on any damages incurred between the date the cause of action arose (or written notice of the action was given, if related to an MVA) to the date of the order for payment of money. The Ontario Court of Appeal has written that “[a]wards of pre-judgment interest are designed to recognize the impact of inflation and to provide relief to a successful litigant against the declining value of money between the date of entitlement to damages and the time when damages are awarded.” 1
The fact that access to justice is a problem is abundantly apparent to anyone involved in the legal system, be it judges or lawyers, plaintiffs or defendants or even common observers. Courts, Law Societies, Bar Associations and special interest groups among others are all trying to improve access to justice. Unfortunately, it is not a problem easily remedied.
Since starting to build my estate related practice, one of the common questions I get asked is how to organize assets to avoid probate fees or estate tax. The question has often come from the adult children of a parent that are wondering if mom or dad are being smart in their estate planning, as it is often these same children and their siblings that are the beneficiaries of their parent’s estate.
The cases of Skunk v. Ketash, released on March 22, 2016, and Fosker v. Thorpe, released in 2004, are an interesting example of two judges finding their way to opposite conclusions on similar facts. In both cases, the plaintiff was injured in an accident which occurred during an alleged theft of the plaintiff’s own insured vehicle. In both cases, liability coverage was unavailable to the alleged thief. In both cases, the insurer of the vehicle argued that uninsured motorist protection was not available to the plaintiff because the stolen vehicle was insured, not uninsured. Interestingly, as indicated, the outcome of the two cases was different.
In November, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a section of the Highway 407 Act was unconstitutional.
The 407 Act allowed the 407 ETR Concession Company to suspend the vehicle permits of people with unpaid toll debts, even after they had declared bankruptcy.
The 407 Company appealed to the Supreme Court after the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down the vehicle permit suspension powers in the 407 Act in December, 2013.