Alexander Holburn

New Trial – New Decision: Crash in a Deliberate Single Engine Take-Off is an “Accident”

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court considered the definition of an “accident” within the meaning of an aviation policy of insurance, with important consequences for insurers and pilots. In Van Berlo v. Aim Underwriting Limited, 2014 ONSC …

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No Contracting Out of Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 2012, the B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision in Loychuk v Cougar Mountain Adventures Ltd., 2012 BCCA 122, confirmed that people who knowingly and voluntarily engage in inherently risky recreational activities will be precluded from suing a commercial operator where …

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Dirty Business – Contamination Exclusion Clause Upheld

Ground contamination in residential property is not only an environmental concern, but is also an expensive issue for insurers in Canada. The contamination often results from a leak in a residential heating oil tank. When these leaks occur, home owners …

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A Recent View from the Bench on the Impact of Work History on Claims for Loss of Earning Capacity

The B.C. Supreme Court recently weighed in on the significance of a Plaintiff’s work history on claims for loss of earning capacity in Riding-Brown v. Jenkins, 2014 BCSC 382.

On June 26, 2009, the Plaintiff, Mr. Riding-Brown, was riding …

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When backseat driving goes too far: no insurance coverage when a passenger intentionally interferes with the driver

The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently considered the question of whether or not a passenger, when intentionally interfering with the driver, could be considered a user or operator of the vehicle such that their actions brought them under the …

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‘Tis the Season – Alcohol-Related Liability

‘Tis the season of holiday parties with many over imbibing on egg nog and other festive cocktails.  Unfortunately, overdoing it during the holiday festivities can give rise not only to hangover-related headaches, but also to various forms of liability headaches.…

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Fall Cleaning: Enactment of Housekeeping Amendments to the Insurance Act

By way of some further housekeeping amendments, a recent Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Counsel made on September 26, 2013, has enacted various sections of the Insurance Act.  In particular, section 155 is immediately enacted and sections 156 …

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The Mental Grind: DSM-5 and new Psychological Injuries

As is common most mornings, I recently stopped at my local coffee shop on the way into work.  Imagine my surprise and dismay when I discovered the doors locked, lights out and a note advising that the owners have now …

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“Blinkmanship” in Overlapping Coverage and Insurer Disputes: Aviva v. Lombard 2013 ONCA 416

In January 1995 a fire destroyed a Toronto apartment building.  Eight legal proceedings were brought against various defendants including the building’s owner, Axes Investment Inc. (“Axes”) and the property manager, Tandem Group Management Inc. (“Tandem”).

Three policies of insurance were …

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At the End of Their Leash: Potential Limits on the Scope of the Scienter Doctrine

It has long been held that the owner of a dog may be liable for the actions of their dog in one of two ways: strict liability under the doctrine of scienter or in negligence.

Liability will only attach under the …

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