Statutory Third Party

Ahmed v. Maharaj, [2010] O.J. No. 4922 (S.C.J.)

Here's a decision that might be useful to counsel for a Statutory Third Party. There were two issues in this motion:

1. Whether the Statutory Third Party is entitled to pursue a crossclaim against one of the co-defendants; and
2. Whether the Statutory Third Party could be compelled to answer questions on examination for discovery about why it denied coverage.

Justice Stewart held as follows:

1. The Statutory Third Party is entitled to bring a crossclaim, since the Insurance Act does not expressly limit it to the right to file a Statement of Defence;
2. The Statutory Third Party is not required to answer questions about why coverage was denied. Generally issues of coverage and issues of liability are to be kept separate. A plaintiff who wishes to challenge a denial of coverage may do so following judgment pursuant to s. 258(1) of the Insurance Act but until that happens, issues of coverage are generally not relevant.

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