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To Warn or Not To Warn: An Explanation of the Duty to Warn and the Reasonable Foreseeability Analysis: Case Comment: Maxrelco (Immeubles) v Lumipro Inc.
by Howard Borlack
June 29, 2018

To what extent must service technicians warn their customers of particular risks associated with the product they are servicing? After presiding over a seven-day trial on liability alone, Madame Justice S. Gomery grappled with this very question and provided a framework to help answer it in her recent decision in Maxrelco v Lumipro Inc., 2018 ONSC 3638.

This decision explains what factors would trigger the duty to warn and in what circumstances would they attract liability.


Secrets Between Children and Parents Are Litigation Records of a Children's Lawyer subject to Father's Freedom of Information Request?
June 28, 2018

In Ontario (Children's Lawyer for Ontario) v Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner) 2018 ONCA 599, the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered the novel issue of whether a child-client's litigation records with the Children's Lawyer should be subject to a father's freedom of information access request. The Adjudicator at first instance determined that the records were “in custody or under the control” of the Attorney General (“MAG”) and ordered that MAG respond to the father's request. On judicial review at the Divisional Court, the court upheld the order of the Adjudicator. In a rare move, the Children's Lawyer appealed...


Insurers Beware: Ontario Court Rules Underwriting and Broker Files are Producible in Tort Litigation when Consent is a "Live Issue"
June 27, 2018

In a decision that will likely be replicated by other courts nationwide, Master MacAfee in Robichaud v McAulay, 2018 ONSC 3636, ordered production of an insurer's underwriting file along with the relevant insurance broker's file.

The underlying litigation involved a 2012 motor vehicle accident. The defendant, Kyriakos Constantinidis, was driving his mother's car and rear-ended the plaintiff. The insurer denied coverage to Kyriakos, claiming that he did not have consent to possess his mother's vehicle. The plaintiff pled that Kyriakos had consent, whereas the mother denied providing consent.


Common Interest Privilege: A New Tool in the Litigation Basket
by Howard Borlack
May 25, 2018

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed that common interest privilege (“CIP”) is a principle of Canadian law. This principle is unlike solicitor-client privilege, in that communication between counsel and a third party may be considered privileged if the shared information is to benefit both parties, especially with respect to the furtherance of a commercial transaction. The court overturned a Federal Court decision which held that that CIP is not a principle of Canadian law.


Risk Management and Cannabis in Ontario What is going to be legalized and when?
May 24, 2018

The Federal Government of Canada has yet to set a date for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. Current forecasts estimate that it will be legalized in the summer of 2018, but this may be optimistic. Once recreational cannabis is legalized, its sale and distribution will be regulated by the provinces leading to different rules province to province, like the regulation of alcohol.


Autonomous Vehicles and the Future of Litigation
May 24, 2018

Autonomous vehicles use artificial intelligence and sense their environment using sensors and GPS coordinates to drive themselves without human input. However, this is a very broad term that encompasses everything from cars assisting with keeping themselves in their lane to cars that require no human input.


Eyes Wide Shut: The Best Defence is a Good Offence Cyber Liability
by Catherine A. Korte
May 24, 2018

With the increasing interconnectivity of businesses to date, information is now exposed to a broad number of threats. Businesses need to ensure there is protection of information in order to prevent loss, unauthorized access or misuse. Businesses must have in place a process of assessing threats and risks to information and the procedures and controls to preserve the information.

There are three guiding principles...


Here, There and Everywhere, Chasing Fraudsters - An Indictment in a New York Slip and Fall Scheme raises concerns about Insurance Fraud
by Howard Borlack
May 23, 2018

The United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, has charged five individuals with defrauding businesses and insurance companies of more than $31.7 million in an elaborate slip and fall scheme dating back to 2013.

Peter Kalkanis, Bryan Duncan, Kerry Gordon, Robert Locust, and Ryan Rainford (“the accused”) are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Peter Kalkanis, the alleged “ringleader” of the scheme, is also charged with aggravated identity theft.These charges relate to how the fraud scheme was allegedly carried out...


Discoverability Dilemma: Limitation Periods for Contribution and Indemnity Claims
by Adam Grant
May 09, 2018

In the recent decision of Mega International Commercial Bank (Canada) v. Yung (“Mega International”), the Ontario Court of Appeal provided an analysis of the contentious issue of whether the limitation period for a contribution and indemnity claim (under section 18 of the Limitations Act, 2002 (“the Act”)) is an absolute limitation period, or if it is subject to issues of discoverability.


Marshall Report: Progress To Date
by James Tomlinson
May 03, 2018

On April 11, 2017, David Marshall, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, released his final 103-page report regarding Ontario's auto insurance system. The report was entitled: Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered (the “Report”).

The Report's introduction outlines the purpose of David Marshall's role as Special Advisor and the purpose of his appointment, by Order in Council, to review and make recommendations for improvements in the auto insurance system in Ontario. Marshall explains that Ontario is often criticized as having the most expensive auto insurance in Canada.


The Art of Due Diligence: Priority Disputes Among Insurers
by Catherine A. Korte
May 03, 2018

The enactment of Ontario Regulation 283/95 – Disputes Between Insurers (the “Regulation”) has obliged insurers to continue payment of Statutory Accident Benefits (“SABS”) to injured person even where entitlement to these benefits is disputed. At the same time, the insurers ‘battle it out' behind the scenes over which has higher priority and should be paying for the claimed benefits.

A priority dispute arises when there are multiple motor vehicle liability policies which might respond to a SABS claim made by an individual involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Section 268(2) of the Ontario Insurance Act sets out the hierarchy of insurers obligated to pay SABS with respect to the occupant claimants, as follows:


Duty to Defend an Additional Insured Under a CGL Policy
by Matthew Dugas
May 03, 2018

Service contracts as between sophisticated parties often contain numerous indemnity and insurance provisions, subject to specific terms. Determining whether a duty to defend an additional insured under a Commercial General Liability Policy (“CGL Policy”) is triggered in a particular instance is, therefore, an intricate exercise. Many CGL Policies provide that one party, for example, a subcontractor or service provider, agrees to defend (and often indemnify) the owner of the property and add them as an “additional insured”.


Old McDonald had a Farm and Kids: A Tale of Succession and Unjust Enrichment Case Comment: McDonald v McDonald
by Howard Borlack
April 27, 2018

The day-to-day life of a farm kid is exceedingly different from that of a “city" boy or girl. While some children are told to take out the trash, clear the table, and tidy up their bedrooms, children of farmers are expected to be up at the crack of dawn to engage in unpaid, arduous labour to support the viability of the farm and to prepare the next generation to take over. What happens when these children grow up and feel they should now be compensated for their "family chores"?


Security Breach Reporting Requirements under the PIPEDA starting November 2018
April 24, 2018

On March 26, 2018, the Government of Canada passed an Order in Council fixing November 1, 2018, as the date on which section 10 of the Digital Privacy Act (“the DPA”) comes into force. This section creates a new division in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) that will require private commercial enterprises to report certain breaches of security safeguards.


Couple Caught in Bidding War Frenzy Reneges on Purchase of Dream Home, Liable for Damages
April 18, 2018

Much ink has been spilled analyzing and assessing the macro impacts of the residential real estate market worldwide. Canada and its largest cities are no exception, particularly in Vancouver, Toronto and the surrounding areas. When the residential real estate market rises, many people, perhaps with the exception of first-time buyers, are joyful homeowners and investors. When the market turns and drops, it is not for the faint of heart.

In Gamoff v. Hu, 2018 ONSC 2172, Justice Edwards presided over the sad facts of how one family, desperate for their dream home, became embroiled in a bidding war and overextended their ability to finance the purchase price of that home. Regrettably, the tragic facts of this case are not uncommon.