Recent Decision Provides Expanded Entitlements for Non-Catastrophic Injuries

Posted September 1, 2001

A recent ruling of Justice Belch of the Superior Court of Justice has helped define the term “Health Care Expenses”, and whether a victim’s ability to sue for housekeeping and home maintenance expenses are caught by the health care exclusion contained in s.267.5(3) of the Insurance Act.

Justice Belch held that “there is an ambiguity in Bill 59’s dealing with housekeeping and home maintenance expenses beyond the two-year period where the injury is not catastrophic”.

Justice Belch considered the definition of “Health Care Expenses” contained in section 224(1) of the Insurance Act, in conjunction with Part V and Part VI of the SABS, and held that “the definition of health care was not intended to include housekeeping and home maintenance expenses”.

His Honour concluded that housekeeping and home maintenance expenses are not caught by the health care exclusion in s.267.5(3) of the Insurance Act. Consequently, an injured party, whose injuries are not catastrophic, may claim housekeeping and home maintenance expenses in their tort claim, as a separate head of damages.

It will be important for Plaintiff’s counsel to carefully review other types of expenses which an injured party may incur, to determine if, by virtue of this decision, they may also be claimed in tort.

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