The risk analysis associated with the resolution of ongoing motor vehicle tort claims in Ontario has been turned on its head following the surprising December 8th decision by Justice Martin James of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Vickers v. Palacious, 2015 ONSC 7647 (Ont. S.C.).
Since October 1, 2003, Ontario has had in place a $30,000 statutory deductible on claims by injured persons against at-fault automobile owners and operators (unless the general damage award exceeded a vanishing deductible limit of $100,000). The deductible, along with a defined “permanent and serious” threshold, was designed to reduce automobile litigation by precluding cases by those with modest injuries and modest damages. A statutory deductible of $15,000 has also been in place since October 1, 2003 on claims by family members (unless the Family Law Act award exceeded the vanishing FLA deductible limit of $50,000).
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