Action against insurer based on alleged mishandling of insured’s mother’s accident benefit claim allowed to proceed as not plain and obvious it was certain to fail.
Insurance law – Automobile insurance – Actions – Benefits – Limitation of actions
Watkins v. Western Assurance Co.,  O.J. No. 4548, 2016 ONSC 2574, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, August 31, 2016, C.D. Braid J.
The insured’s mother was involved in a car accident when the insured was 15 years old. The insured was not present at the accident.
The insured’s first action claimed damages arising out of the insurer’s handling of his mother’s accident benefits. The insured alleged that he was deprived of his mother’s care, guidance, and companionship which ultimately led to his inability to acquire a post‑secondary degree, achieve his pre-accident goals, maintain relationships, and integrate into society.
In the other action, the insured sought non‑earner benefits and alleged the insurer acted in bad faith.
The insurer brought motions for summary judgment seeking to dismiss both actions. The Court found that the claim for non‑earner benefits was brought out of time because time started to run when he reached the age of majority; the action was brought some six years later. As for the second action, the Court concluded it was not plain and obvious that the action was certain to fail; the action was novel. Accordingly, the motion for a summary judgment in respect to that action was dismissed.
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