Contrary to the recitals in the Reasons for Decision, the
Plaintiff was represented on the motion by Hollie Nicol, not Marc
The Plaintiff commenced an action against the Defendants after
sustaining injuries in a motor vehicle accident. State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company ("State Farm") had
itself added as a statutory Third Party in the action pursuant to
s. 258(14) of the Insurance Act. The effect of being
added as a statutory Third Party reduces the limits available to
the Plaintiff from the Defendants' insurer to the amount of
$200,000.00. The Plaintiff made a claim for under insurance
coverage from his own insurer, Intact Insurance Company
("Intact") pursuant to the OPCF 44 endorsement. The
Plaintiff required detailed information from State Farm with
respect to its coverage position to the Defendant in order for the
Plaintiff to present its claim to Intact Insurance for underinsured
coverage. The issue in the case was whether State Farm was
obligated to provide to the Plaintiff detailed information
regarding its coverage position with the Defendant.
Justice Price concluded that the effect of section 258(11) of
the Insurance Act is to reduce the limits of the policy of
the at fault motorist to the statutory minimum where it is
determined there has been a breach of a policy condition "by
operation of the law" and until there is a finding to that
effect State Farm's allegation of a policy breach by the
Defendant is only unproven allegation.
It was acknowledged by Justice Price that the Plaintiff was not
challenging State Farm's coverage position with the Defendant,
but rather seeking evidence as to State Farm's reasons, so that
the Plaintiff and the court could determine whether coverage was
denied "by operation of law" for the purpose of the
Plaintiff's claim against Intact for OCPF44R coverage.
Justice Price considered the interplay between Rule 31.06(4)
which provides, inter alia, for disclosure of the
insurance limits and "any conditions affecting its
availability", Rule 31.06(5) which provides that no
information concerning the insurance policy is admissible into
evidence unless it is relevant to an issue in the action and Rule
31.06(6) which allows a party to bring a motion for leave to
withhold the information. Justice Price concluded that the
information the Plaintiff sought from State Farm was relevant to
the Plaintiff's OPCF44 action against Intact and producible in
accordance with Rules 31.06(4) and (5) unless State Farm moved by
way of motion pursuant to Rule 31.06(6) for leave of the court to
withhold the information.
In the result, Justice Price ordered State Farm to provide the
information sought by the Plaintiff regarding its coverage position
with the Defendant unless State Farm feels the information will
prejudice the defence of the Defendant or raise an issue of
privilege. In that case State Farm could seal its answers and
tender them to Justice Price for review for a determination
pursuant to Rule 31.06(6) on whether this information should be
State Farm is currently seeking leave to appeal the decision of
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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