The Ontario Legislature works in weird and mysterious ways, sometimes. When it is not prorogued or debating setting inquiries into the cancellation of power plants, the Legislature will sometimes issue laws which seem, well, contradictory.
Take the deduction of collateral benefits in car accident cases.
Section 268(7) of the Insurance Act provides that general damages for pain and suffering will not be deducted by payments or benefits that the plaintiff has or could receive (i.e. from another statutory scheme). In contrast, Regulation 2(1)(b) passed pursuant to s. 265 of the Insurance Act, which deals with uninsured auto coverage, provides for the exact opposite result.
This apparent incongruity was discussed in the recent, brief endorsement by the Court of Appeal in Merino v. Kale, 2013 ONCA 114. In that case, the plaintiff was hit by an uninsured automobile in Quebec and suffered catastrophic injuries. She was entitled to “non-pecuniary damage indemnity” benefits under Quebec legislation, and could also pursue damages from her own insurer in Ontario pursuant to the uninsured automobile provisions of her auto policy. The upshot? The $181,107.00 paid to her from Quebec was applied to reduce the $200,000.00 she could have received in Ontario. Had this been an insured loss, though, there would have been no deduction.
Weird and mysterious.