November 8, 2017

Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) Awards Cost After Insurance Company Fails to Provide Documents

The case called B. F. v Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company decided by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) on January 30, 2017 emphasizes the importance of following the orders of the Tribunal.

B.F., the applicant in this case, was injured in a motor vehicle accident on February 28, 2014. As a result of the accident, B. F. filed an accident benefit claim with her insurer Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. A disagreement arose between B. F. and Wawanesa regarding B. F.’s entitlement to accident benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. As a result of the disagreement, B. F. submitted an application for dispute resolution with the LAT.

On September 22, 2016, the parties, through their counsels, agreed to exchange important documents. This exchange of documents was noted in the Tribunal’s order.

On October 27, 2016, the counsel of the applicant informed the Tribunal that Wawanesa had not complied with the Tribunal’s order of producing the documents.

On November 2, 2016, the Tribunal issued another order, requiring Wawanesa to produce the documents by November 4, 2016. Three days after the deadline of the Tribunal’s second order, the applicant asked the Tribunal to order Wawanesa to pay $1,000 costs for failing to submit the important documents.

A day after the applicant requested for the $1,000 award cost, the counsel for Wawanesa informed the Tribunal that he had requested the documents from his client and would forward them as soon as they were received. The counsel for Wawanesa argued that the applicant’s costs request is unwarranted as Wawanesa has not acted unreasonably, frivolously, vexatiously or in bad faith.

Rule 19.1 of the Licence Appeal Tribunal Rules of Practice and Procedure, states that “Where a party believes that another party in a proceeding has acted unreasonably, frivolously, vexatiously, or in bad faith, that party may make a request to the Tribunal for costs.”

“The respondent’s [Wawanesa] disregard of these orders, twice, clearly establishes its conduct as unreasonable under Rule 19,” LAT Adjudicator Chloe Lester said. Adjudicator Lester added, “The Tribunal’s rules and orders must be respected and followed promptly and responsively.”

Adjudicator Lester ordered Wawanesa to pay $250 to the applicant. She reasoned that the applicant’s requested costs in the amount of $1,000.00 “is not proportional to the specific behavior.”

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