COVID-19 UPDATE  

Malicious actions by insurer results in significant punitive damages.

April 16, 2013, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

 

A 46 year old Canadian red seal welder was working in a remote location overseas for a Saskatchewan based Canadian company. He dropped a steel plate on his foot and sustained serious injury which he looked after himself.  About 2 months later he again injured the same foot. He went home 2 days later and sought medical attention. He was home in Portugal for 2 months, then returned to work still injured and reported the accidents to the company doctor.

The company doctor referred the man to a surgeon in Portugal, and after consideration the man underwent the recommended surgery. The operation was not a success, and the surgeon concluded the man was permanently disabled, advising the insurance companies representing the WCB, and the company accordingly.

The insurers repeatedly stopped LTD benefits and requested the man return to Canada for examination by their specialists. He complied, returning twice in two years. All of the physicians confirmed the disability. The insurer then paid some back benefits but made no further ongoing payments. The insurers offered the man a tiny lump settlement minus legal costs, which he refused.

The man complied with all of the insurers' requests attending all specialists. None provided occupational rehabilitation options. When finally referred for vocational retraining he was advised that at his age and high education he was not well suited to their services. The insurer requested he retrain as a gardener which was and occupation inappropriate in terms of pay and physical demands. About three and a half years after the accident the insurer terminated his benefits again on the basis that the man would not accept retraining.

For 9 years the man’s claim was consistently blocked, bungled, and denied by the insurers even after court orders to the contrary. His marriage disintegrated due to his financial woes. He lived on borrowed money, often with family members. He was ashamed and became mentally distressed.  The insurer finally paid back benefits the day before the trial in 2012.

The Judge awarded aggravated damages for mental distress, ruled the insurers had breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and breached their policies. The judge characterized the insurer’s actions as malicious, designed to leverage a reduced settlement of claim. He awarded punitive damages against the insurers in the amounts of $3,000,000 and $1,500,000.

You can read the full decision here.

 

 

 

 

Posted under Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Disability Insurance, Treatment

View All Posts

About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

Practice Areas

  1. Car accidents
  2. Motorcycle accidents
  3. Automobile accident benefits
  4. Catastrophic injury
  5. Brain or Head injury
  6. Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
  7. Spinal cord injury
  8. Drunk driving accidents
  9. Concussion syndrome
  10. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  11. Business Interruption Insurance
  12. Birth Trauma Injury
  1. Wrongful death
  2. Bicycle accidents
  3. Disability insurance claims
  4. Slip and fall injury
  5. Fractures or broken bone injury
  6. Pedestrian accidents
  7. Chronic pain
  8. Truck accidents
  9. Amputation and disfigurement
  10. Fibromyalgia
  11. Nursing Home Fatality Claims

Personal Injury Blog

Aug 04, 2020
Post-Concussion Treatment is Extremely Important in Suicide Prevention
Jul 30, 2020
Being the loved one or care giver of someone with TBI can be very challenging
Jul 28, 2020
Children who suffer concussions are susceptible to behavioral and emotional symptoms
Jul 23, 2020
Long-Term Care Homes and Hospitals Relax Visitor Restrictions
Jul 21, 2020
E-bike Popularity Continues to Grow – Remember They are Subject to Regulation
Jul 18, 2020
Al Fresco Dining Here to Stay, but Risk Needs to Be Managed

More Personal Injury Articles » 
Review our services

Connect with us

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Youtube Google