Local Lawyer George Bonn’s Small Part in a Significant Case

In a recent exit interview conducted by the Globe and Mail, Justice Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to talk about some of his favourite or most momentous cases, while sitting with Canada’s highest court.

Justice Binnie recalled the case of Whitten v. Pilot Insurance, a civil case about punitive damages. The case was in front of the Supreme Court on appeal by the plaintiffs, whose 1 million dollar punitive damages award by a jury at the Superior Court had been overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In this case a family’s home burnt down and their insurance company denied their claim. The facts showed that the insurance company ignored the independent adjusters finding that there was no basis to deny the claim, misled their own origin and cause expert by not providing the expert with relevant information, influenced the expert via communications to change his original opinion, and cut off alternative living expenses when they shouldn’t have.

In the interview Justice Binnie stated, “These people were messed around by a insurance company and from the record, it appeared to me that the insurance company was just attempting to wear them down until they accepted a fraction of what they were entitled to.”

Justice Binnie said, “In the end, we upheld the outcome and it seemed to me that on a human scale, a massive injustice had been corrected and a very powerful message sent to the insurance industry. Occasionally, you feel that you have really made a difference.” This statement rings true to any lawyers who work for plaintiffs in insurance disputes.

Of note is that Bonn Law’s very own George Bonn was a contributor to the preparation and research in this case assisting OTLA lawyer Gary Will.

Reference: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/justice-ian-binnies-exit-interview/article2178895/page10/