Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 822 21
03/06/2021
B. Kalvin
  • Right to sue (statutory accident benefits)
  • Standing (insurer)

This right to sue application arose from an accident when the respondent drove a backhoe excavator into a retail paint store. The insurance policy on the respondent's vehicle was issued by the applicant insurer. The civil action in this matter was settled. The respondent claimed benefits from a different insurer than the applicant. In order to receive benefits from this other insurer, the respondent assigned her workers' compensation benefits to this insurer. The purpose of the assignment was that if the respondent received workers' compensation benefits under the WSIA, this insurer would be compensated for the benefits it had paid out to the respondent.

The applicant insurer brought an application to determine that the respondent's right to commence an action was taken away, and, further, that the respondent was a person entitled to claim benefits under the WSIA.
The Vice-Chair found that the applicant insurer was never a party to the now settled civil action.
Furthermore the applicant insurer was not the insurer for whom statutory accident benefits under the Insurance Act have been claimed. The respondent claimed insurance from her own insurer and not the insurer of the vehicle she was driving at the time of the accident. While there was an ongoing dispute between the two insurance companies headed to arbitration, there was no evidence that the there was a claim for statutory accident benefits under the Insurance Act to the applicant insurer.
As the applicant insurer was not a party to the civil action, nor an insurer from whom statutory accident benefits had been claimed, it did not have standing to bring the application under section 31(1) of the Act.