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.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently mandated a small adjustment to the standard jury charge in rear-end motor vehicle accidents. The court also strongly confirmed that when one car runs into another from behind, the driver of the rear car has the onus to satisfy the court that the collision did not occur as a result of his negligence.
Plaintiffs’ Entitlement to Surveillance Particulars Bolstered, Supplementary Affidavit of Documents Requirements Muddled
In Iannarella v. Corbett 2015 ONCA 110, released February 17, 2015, the Court of Appeal has bolstered the right of plaintiffs to obtain surveillance particulars, but in doing so it seems to have unnecessarily created a serious problem: it held that a party is obliged by a combination of rules 30.06 and 30.07(b) to provide an updated affidavit of documents listing any surveillance reports (and therefore presumably any privileged documents) created after the party’s affidavit of documents has been sworn. Lawyers may be kept busy preparing updated affidavits of documents.
Relief From Forfeiture Under the Courts of Justice Act in Auto Insurance Cases: A Review of Kozel v. The Personal Insurance Company
The 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.
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.
Mayer v 1474479 Ontario Inc.: Judges’ Decisions on Threshold Issue Not Always Consistent With Size of Jury Awards
A fall 2013 decision of the Ontario Superior Court, Mayer v 1474479 Ontario Inc,  has confirmed that juries and judges do not always see plaintiffs in the same light.