Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Deduction of Collateral Benefits at Trial

Brown v. Campbell, (2012) 109 O.R. (3rd) 306 (S.C.J.)

After a jury trial where the plaintiff was awarded damages for past income loss, the defendant asked the judge to reduce the amount by long term disability benefits received the plaintiff. The plaintiff was self-employed and had purchased a long term disability policy for himself. The request for the deduction had not been made at trial, and had first arisen when the final judgment was being taken out. Both parties had addressed the issue in their evidence. The jury award for past income loss did not match either the amount suggested by the plaintiff or the defendant. Justice Nolan refused to make a deduction post trial. She held the defendant should have made be request at trial so she could have charged the jury on it. In addition, since the jury's verdict was less than the amounts submitted by both parties, it appeared the jury had in fact made the deduction in their assessment of the damages.

One issue left open by the Court is whether the disability benefits would have been deductible in any event, given that the plaintiff was self-employed and Justice Nolan noted the law is not settled with respect to whether LTD benefits purchased privately are captured by s. 267.8 of the Insurance Act.

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