Archive for the ‘ Insurance Law ’ Category

Injured on Municipal Property? Act Fast




If you are injured on Municipal property in Ontario, there are immediate actions that must be taken failing which you may lose your legal rights to claim against the Municipality. Read more

Words of Wisdom from an Insurance Defence Lawyer: What every injury claimant must know!

Andrew P. Laviolette is an insurance defence lawyer practicing with Brown & Partners LLP

Andrew P. Laviolette is an insurance defence lawyer practicing with Brown & Partners LLP






  is privileged to present our recent interview with Andrew P. Laviolette, a brilliant legal mind blazing a trail in the world of insurance defence.  For those considering starting a lawsuit for a personal injury matter, this interview will provide you with critical insight from the perspective of the insurance defence lawyer. Mr. Laviolette says it like it is so take note and prepare to be informed:

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The goal of the legal system is to compensate injured claimants for their loss as a result of an accident or injury whether it is for economic loss, pain and suffering or both.  In either case, there would also need to be a legally responsible party to blame for the loss/injury suffered before compensation can be recovered. Read more

Commercial Host Liability: Would You Like a Cab With That?



Commercial establishments in the business of serving alcohol must be aware of the legal responsibilities expected of them towards their patrons under the eyes of the law. For example, if a clearly drunken patron ends up leaving a bar after a wild night of binge drinking before getting into his/her car and attempting to drive home and violently crashes into a pole, the bar would likely bear a degree of liability for the damages suffered by the drunken patron.

However, over the last 20 years, the courts have further expanded the responsibilities of commercial hosts to include owing a special duty not only to their own patrons, but also to third party users of the road who may become seriously injured or killed as a result of conduct committed by their patrons. This expansion was established in the 1995 Supreme Court of Canada decision of Stewart v. Pettie. In other words, as a commercial host, you can also be on the hook for damages suffered by third parties who were not even present at your establishment so long as their injuries or death were caused by the negligence of an intoxicated patron who had been at your establishment. Read more

Common Misconceptions About Your Injury Claim

In my legal practice, I have come across a few common misconceptions from clients that I would like to share with you below:


1.  If I go back to work, it will only hurt my case so I will stay unemployed during the duration of my case and turn down any opportunities until my case is settled:

There may very well be circumstances preventing you from going back to your pre-accident employment. This might include a doctor’s recommendation or an impairment preventing you from returning to your pre-accident duties. However, to say you will not return to the workplace because it makes you look “less injured” is not a good enough reason. Deciding not to return to work without first making any sort of reasonable attempt to at least inquire about or try doing modified duties or hours would likely raise suspicions of the insurance company on the other side (who ultimately may settle with you or choose to offer you less if anything).  If your case proceeds to trial, ultimately the jury will decide the outcome. As a result, if they sense you are being dishonest, their suspicions may also be triggered resulting in a less desired outcome. Read more

Remedies for Car Accident Victims in Ontario: Looking Beyond the Twisted Metal




Car accidents happen. They are a fact of life on the roads. Unfortunately, when accidents involve motor vehicles travelling at high rates of speed, the results can be devastating. People involved in these accidents may escape without a scratch. Others less fortunate may die or lose limbs or vision. Any number of functional impairments from a motor vehicle accident may greatly diminish one’s quality of life. The legal remedies in place to address these injuries are discussed briefly below. Read more

Has Your Pet Been Injured or Killed?: Compensation for Emotional Distress on the Rise


Traditionally, pets have been treated as property under the eyes of the law. That being the case, a pet owner attempting to obtain compensation for the death or injury of his/her pet was limited to the fair market value of the pet at the time of loss, plus any related costs incurred (such as veterinarian bills etc.). Thoughts of even awarding a pet owner general damages for “pain and suffering”, “mental and emotional anguish”, or “loss of companionship” for their pet’s loss, death or injury was unheard of in Canada. A pet’s loss was seen as no different  than losing a  Laptop computer or other prized personal property. Read more

Genetic Discrimination Debate: Should your DNA cost you?

Should insurance companies be permitted to charge higher premiums to those at greater risk for developing genetic diseases; or is this pure discrimination? Read more

To Die or Not to Die?: What Is Your Life Really Worth?


Would you be interested in making money off of your death even before you die?

Normally, those insured under a life insurance policy would expect that upon their death, financial benefits would be paid out to their beneficiaries under the policy.

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HERPES IS NO ACCIDENT ACCORDING TO SUPREME COURT OF CANADA: Co-operators Life Insurance Co. v. Gibbens, 2009 SCC 59

In January and February of 2003, Mr. Gibbens engaged in unprotected sex with several women, which resulted in him acquiring genital herpes. This triggered a medical condition known as transverse myelitis, which paralyzed him from the mid-abdominal region down, in what was no doubt a rare occurrence.

Mr. Gibbens had an insurance policy, which provided coverage for losses sustained “as a direct result of Critical Disease or resulting directly and independently of all other causes from bodily injuries occasioned solely through external violent and accidental means, without negligence.

The insurance policy contained a section, which provided coverage for certain enumerated “Critical Disease[s]” but transverse myelitis was not included in that list. As a result, Mr. Gibbens decided to claim compensation in the policy amount of $200,000 on the basis of his condition, being the result of an “accident”. The term “accident” was not defined in the policy. Read more

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