The Ontario Divisional Court has weighed in on an application under the JRPA for a stay of LAT proceedings pending a review of 2 rulings refusing the insurers requests for an adjournment.
In Taylor v. Aviva there was a threshold legal issue as to whether the claimant was involved in an 'accident'. After the case Conference, and facing an unexpected affidavit in a written hearing proceeding, the insurer sought an adjournment of the case in order to cross examine the affiant and was denied. Twice. With no substantive reason provided. The insurer turned to the Divisional Court for relief and in particular a stay of the proceeding pending judicial review of the refusal to grant the adjournment. It was argued that there was a serious issue to be tried (relating to procedural fairness) and that irreparable harm would result if the stay was not granted.
The Divisional Court didn't buy it. Not only did they not accept the arguments regarding the serious nature of the issue to the insurer they found that the insurer's application was premature because they had not exhausted all of the remedies available in the LAT such as a Request for Reconsideration. Importantly the court noted the importance of allowing a relatively new tribunal such as the LAT the opportunity to 'iron out wrinkles in procedural issues' and to let it do 'what the legislature directed it to do' - to provide a dispute resolution mechanism that is fair, efficient and proportional.
See Aviva Canada Inc. v Taylor, 2017 ONSC 2661 (CanLII)
Neil is a Partner of Samis+Company. Neil focuses exclusively on insurance-related litigation. He has handled a broad range of matters before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, as well as advocating on behalf of his clients in private arbitrations.