The Court of Appeal released a new decision on dependency in a
priority dispute between Intact and Allstate, linked below.
The Court of Appeal held that the claimants, a woman (Paula) and
her two children, who moved in with Paula's boyfriend (Kyle)
only seven weeks before the accident, were principally dependent on
Kyle at the time of the accident. Kyle, who was
Allstate's insured, paid for at least 64% of the claimants'
financial needs during the seven weeks before the accident.
The finding of dependency meant that Allstate was responsible
for the payment of accident benefits to the claimants.
The Court of Appeal upheld the Superior Court decision which
overturned the decision of the Arbitrator. The Court of Appeal
disagreed with the Arbitrator's approach which focused on
whether the fairly recent romantic relationship between Paula and
Kyle is likely to be a permanent one.
...what time period accurately reflects the true nature of the
particular relationship at issue at the time of the accident.
When conducting a dependency analysis in a case involving a
changing environment, the case law requires a determination as to
the appropriate time period for the evaluation of dependency.
Too narrow a time frame may produce only a "snapshot" of
the circumstances, which may be misleading. The appropriate
question is what time period accurately reflects the true nature of
the particular relationship at issue at the time of the
The Court of Appeal found that the seven-week period in this
case accurately reflects the nature of the relationship between the
claimants and Allstate's insured and was not merely a
"snapshot." The relationship was new but real and the
parties intended it to be a permanent one.
For insurers looking to shift priority based on dependency, it
is critical to conduct a thorough investigation of the
insureds' relationships. The analysis remains factually
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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