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Alberta auto cap heads to Supreme Court of Canada


July 22, 2009   by Canadian Underwriter


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Alberta’s auto cap legislation is going to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in June that a Cdn$4,000 cap on insurance claims for minor auto injuries does not infringe the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The plaintiffs in Alberta Court of Appeal case, Peari Morrow and Brea Pederson, have instructed their counsel to seek leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Fred Kozak, counsel for the plaintiff, confirmed his clients’ instructions in an email correspondence with Claims Canada magazine.
Kozak went on note that he expects to complete the application brief and supporting documents later this summer. The filing deadline is Sept. 11, 2009.
The Court of Appeal overturned a February 2008 decision in the lower court, which found the Alberta cap legislation discriminated against victims of whiplash injuries and was therefore unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeal decision ruled, however, that the province’s minor injury regulation, which introduces the cap, represents only one aspect of a wider legislative scheme. This broader legislative package included protocols for diagnosing and treating minor injuries.
The Alberta cap legislation also increased medical benefits available to minor injury claimants who still required treatment after preliminary medical treatment protocols were followed.