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Retail Trade

Court considers right to terminate disability benefits for failure to attend Independent Medical Exam

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Nayyar v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company/La Compagnie D'Assurance Manufactures, 2012 BCSC 28, the BC Supreme Court considered the right of the employer/disability plan administrator/insurer to terminate an employee's disability benefits for failing to attend an Independent Medical Exam ("IME").

Of specific value is this overview of the law on IME's that the court set out:

[120]     Given the continuing nature of a claim under a disability policy, an insurer is entitled to information concerning the insured in order to properly assess the claimant's ongoing entitlement to receive disability benefits: Paul Revere Life Insurance Company v. Patterson, 2002 BCSC 138 (CanLII), 2002 BCSC 138 at para. 12, 99 B.C.L.R. (3d) 189.  read more »

BC Court of Appeal overturns award of $20,000 in bad faith compensatory damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In a post on June 19, 2010 ("Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages"), I summarized the BC Supreme Court's decision in Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833.

In that decision, the trial judge awarded the employee $20,000 in damages for the manner of dismissal, and the employer's conduct thereafter.  read more »

Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833, the court awarded the plaintiff/former employee $20,000 in bad faith/unfair dealing damages because, among other factors:

  • the employer only tried to contact the employee twice after a fire destroyed her home before assuming she had quit; and
  • the employer's lawyer had attacked the plaintiff's reputation and had undertaken a generally aggressive tone in his correspondence with the plaintiff's lawyer.

Background

The plaintiff had worked as a clerk in the employer's meat department for 9.5 years. She earned $13.10/hour.  She had a Grade 12 education, was 52 years old and had a "good record" at work.

Triggering Event

On February 18, 2009, the plaintiff's mobile home was destroyed by a fire. She phoned her supervisor the next day to advise that she would be coming into work as scheduled that day, and did not know when she would be returning to work.  read more »

"Charge to the Jury" on awarding aggravated damages in Alberta wrongful dismissal case

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2010 ABQB 220 - this is further to my previous two posts - the judge also recited his Charge to the Jury on the issue of aggravated damages at para. 62:

On aggravated damages, the Charge to the Jury reflected an employer's obligation of good faith and fair dealing and the recognition that when an employment relationship ruptures, the employee is at his most vulnerable and in most need of protection. This was described in my Charge to the Jury at pages 19 - 20 which reads:-  read more »