Defense Doctor Criticised For “Advocacy” and Requiring Cross Examination to “Ferret Out” Opinions

Source: Erik Magraken BC Injury and ICBC Claims Blog

Adding to this site’s archived posts of judicial criticism of expert witness advocacy, reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, rejecting a defence expert for shortcomings in their opinion evidence.

In today’s case (Soltan v. Glasgow) the Plaintiff was injured in two collisions that the Defendants accepted fault for.  In the course of litigation the Defendants retained an orthopaedic surgeon who provided opinion evidence minimizing the impact of the Plaintiff’s injuries and prognosis.  In finding it “difficult to ascribe any weight” to these opinions Mr. Justice Saunders provided the following critical comments:

[32]         Having said that, I find it difficult to ascribe any weight to Dr. Boyle’s opinion. His opinions as to the “greater than 50%” likelihoods of certain outcomes, as described above, were stated in a conclusory manner. Rule 11-6 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009 requires that an expert state the reasons for their opinion, and indeed the letter of instruction from ICBC to Dr. Boyle specifically asked him to provide his reasons. In contrast to Dr. Hershler, who explicitly stated in his October 2015 report that his opinion was based on his experience with patient outcomes, and the fact that recovery can be prolonged when there have been multiple accidents, Dr. Boyle did not set out what path of reasoning led to the opinions he expresses. His report stated a number of positive and negative prognostic factors, but he did not weigh or analyze them in any fashion.

[33]         If Dr. Boyle’s unstated reasoning behind his opinions was simply that there were no objective signs of pathology, then his failure to acknowledge the subjective nature of pain and the possibility that Ms. Soltan may have found her pain levels intolerable, would mark his report as a work of advocacy. So too would his implication that a prognosis for probable full resolution of soft tissue symptoms may be based solely on objective criteria. The function of an expert witness is to assist the court, not to take sides. To demonstrate fairness and balance, Dr. Boyle’s acknowledgement of the potential for subjective pain being limiting and disabling, even in the absence of objective signs, ought to have been stated frankly in his report and not left to be ferreted out in cross-examination.

[34]         I also note that Dr. Boyle did not state in his report that Ms. Soltan’s decision to take time off work, commencing in February 2017, would not have been a reasonable approach to managing her symptoms and attempting to accelerate the process of recovery.

[35]         For these reasons, I prefer and accept the opinions of Dr. Hershler.

Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion, bc injury law, Mr. Justice Saunders, Soltan v. Glasgow

Surex is the Fastest-Growing Insurance Brokerage Two Years in a Row on the Growth 500

MAGRATH, Alberta — Surex, Canada’s online Insurance Marketplace™, is excited to announce that its revenue growth of over 1000% in 5 years, has landed the company in the top 100 of the Growth 500. Surex was ranked no. 93 by Canadian Business and Maclean’s on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca.

Surex made the 2019 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 1071%.

“The companies on the 2019 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Beth Fraser, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate over 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

“We are proud to have been selected to the Growth 500 list for the second time in two years,” said Lance Miller, CEO and Co-Founder of Surex. “We have worked aggressively to build Surex as Canada’s fastest growing online Insurance Marketplace, and to make purchasing insurance as easy and frictionless as possible for Canadians. We are proud to be small-town Canadian entrepreneurs and we will continue to expand the team and the technology that has brought us here.”

“Our vision is to change the way Canadians purchase insurance, and we are not satisfied with incremental change,” said Matt Alson, COO and Co-Founder of Surex. “We are humbled to see the results of our efforts be recognized by one of Canada’s most prestigious entrepreneur programs. Our growth is thanks to our team and our customers who trust us with their business.”

Surex provides auto, home, and business insurance to customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

For more information about Surex, please visit www.surex.com.

About the Growth 500
For over 30 years, the Growth 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the Growth 500 profiles the country’s most successful growing businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca.

About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.

Chubb Expands Water Damage Coverage to Personal Homeowner Insurance Clients in Canada

TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2019 /CNW/ — Chubb has launched its Overland Water Coverage offering to Canadian homeowner insurance clients. This newly-enhanced and expanded water risk management solution is designed to offer an add-on coverage for Chubb Masterpiece® home insurance policyholders. This coverage complements the existing water damage coverages, such as sewer back up, found in the base policy.

“We feel it’s important to provide Chubb clients with the option to purchase enhanced water damage coverage to further protect their homes,” said Paul Johnstone, Senior Vice President for Chubb Personal Risk Services, Canada. “As always, we want to help protect them  from water damage in the first place to the extent possible, but if a loss happens, our priority is doing what it takes to help Chubb clients restore their lives and homes as quickly as possible.”

Chubb’s Overland Water Coverage provides the following benefits:

Expanded coverage: Chubb clients who are eligible for this coverage will now have added protection from losses that result from freshwater occurrences such as overflow of natural or artificial inland waters, mudflow and collapse of land along a body of water.

Enhanced protection: Not only does the Overland Water solution cover the replacement costs of the home, but will also pay to restore Chubb clients’ unique finishes and built-in features such as custom millwork, designer appliances, and repurchase contents like TVs and home theatre systems, pool tables, and exercise equipment.

Peace of mind:  This coverage will offer the same legendary claims service that Chubb clients are accustomed to receiving from their Masterpiece policies. If Chubb clients cannot stay in their home during rebuilding or repairs, Chubb will make sure that its additional living expense coverage applies so that  replacement accommodations are secured while their home is being restored.

Additional information on Chubb’s personal insurance and service offerings in Canada can be found at  Chubb.com/ca.

About Chubb
Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris  and other locations, and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at: chubb.com.

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver and provides its products and services through licensed insurance brokers across Canada. For additional information, visit: chubb.com/ca.

SOURCE Chubb

Intact buying insurers Guarantee Co. and Frank Cowan for $1-billion

Intact Financial Corp. has signed a deal to buy The Guarantee Co. of North America and Frank Cowan Co. Ltd. from Princeton Holdings Ltd. for $1 billion in cash.

The Guarantee is a specialty lines insurer in Canada and the U.S., while Frank Cowan is a managing general agent focused on specialty insurance.

Intact is a provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada and a provider of specialty insurance in North America.

The company says the acquisition will bolster its position and add new products for the high net worth customer segment.

Princeton Holdings will continue to own Cowan Insurance Group, Cowan Asset Management and Fountain Street Finance.

To finance the transaction, Intact says it has access to its own capital resources and bank facilities and may evaluate capital markets alternatives.

“The acquisition of The Guarantee Co. of North America and Frank Cowan Co. is strongly aligned with our strategic and financial objectives,” Intact chief executive Charles Brindamour said in a statement.

“We are delivering on our objectives to grow in Canada and build a leading North American specialty platform. I’m enthusiastic about what we will accomplish by leveraging the combined expertise of our teams and our expanded offering.”

The deal, which is subject to regulator approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Specialty lines insurers typically underwrite more difficult and unusual risks or higher-risk accounts, such as professional liability, marine and aviation.

Brookfield acquires mortgage insurer Genworth Canada in $2.4-billion deal

BANKING REPORTER | The Globe and Mail

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s private-equity arm is making a long-term bet on Canada’s mortgage market with a $2.4-billion deal to take control of Genworth MI Canada Inc., the country’s second-largest mortgage insurer.

Brookfield Business Partners LP, a publicly-traded subsidiary of the global asset manager, is acquiring a 57-per-cent stake in Genworth MI Canada from the mortgage insurer’s American parent company, Genworth Financial Inc.

Brookfield will pay $48.86 a share for nearly 49 million shares in Genworth MI Canada – a 5-per-cent discount to the price at Monday’s close on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but an 18-per-cent premium compared with the date when the company was formally put up for sale.

The deal appears to relieve a headache for Richmond, Va.-based Genworth, which has waited years for regulators to approve a separate deal that would see the American company acquired for US$2.7-billion by a privately held Chinese buyer, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. That transaction, which was first announced in October, 2016, has stalled while awaiting approval from Canadian regulators and federal officials, who are required to consider the potential impact on Canada’s mortgage industry and have held the deal up over national-security concerns, even after U.S. regulators gave it a green light.

Earlier this summer, Genworth Financial announced it was considering “strategic alternatives” for Genworth MI Canada, seeking to break the deadlock. That raised the prospect that, absent a suitable buyer, Genworth Financial’s stake in its Canadian subsidiary might have to be sold into the public market at a discount. But Brookfield emerged with deep pockets and the industry expertise needed to take control.

“We are pleased to find such a high-calibre buyer for our interest in Genworth Canada,” said Genworth Financial president and chief executive Tom McInerney.

Genworth Financial’s share price shot up 15.8 per cent on Tuesday, and Brookfield Business Partners shares rose 2.7 per cent, but stock in Genworth MI Canada fell 1.7 per cent.

The Canadian arm of Genworth is a rare asset. It is Canada’s largest private-sector mortgage insurer, providing a backstop against defaults to residential mortgage lenders, and it trails only the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in size. Its only privately owned competitor is Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, which is jointly owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and financier Stephen Smith.

Genworth Canada currently has a 33-per-cent share of the country’s mortgage-insurance market, while CMHC holds half and Canada Guaranty the remaining 17 per cent, according to data from RBC Dominion Securities Inc. But the federal housing agency has been ceding its share to the private insurers.

Genworth’s improving position in a highly consolidated market made it a logical target for Brookfield Business Partners, which seeks to acquire and manage companies in sectors where the barrier to entry is high. Brookfield also has extensive expertise in mortgages and housing: It is one of the largest residential real estate developers in North America, active in real estate financing, and owns the Royal LePage brokerage.

Brookfield Business Partners managing partner David Nowak described Genworth Canada as “a high-quality leader in the mortgage-insurance sector,” in a statement.

The total share of mortgages that are insured has been falling, from 57 per cent in 2015 to 41 per cent in 2019, according to a recent CMHC report. The shift toward uninsured mortgages comes as regulators have tightened rules on mortgage lending, requiring borrowers to meet stricter tests to qualify for mortgage insurance.

Even so, the housing sector as a whole has continued to grow, adding a steady stream of new demand for mortgage insurance, particularly from first-time home buyers. And Brookfield is betting that Genworth can grab a larger share of the market, making full use of Brookfield’s deep relationships with banks that do the lion’s share of Canada’s mortgage lending.

The deal is expected to close before then end of 2019, subject to approvals from Canada’s banking regulator and Minister of Finance.

Brookfield is not currently looking to acquire the 43 per cent of Genworth MI Canada’s shares that are owned by other investors. But Jaeme Gloyn, an analyst at National Bank Financial Inc., said that prospect “is not entirely off the table” and “would likely unfold at a premium” to the price Brookfield is paying for control.

Ratings agency DBRS Ltd. called the deal “positive for Genworth Canada,” which has been more stable than its U.S. parent.

Oceanwide Holdings consented to the transaction and extended the deadline to finalize its own deal with Genworth Financial until Dec. 31.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Understanding life insurance

Submitted

BC Local News

Have you ever thought of how much impact smoking has on your finances? Health Canada’s cost calculator finds that smoking half a pack a day can cost up to $2,500 per year. Meanwhile, on a nationwide scale, the Canadian Cancer Society reported that smoking generates $6.5 billion in healthcare costs yearly. And, the expenses don’t end there – not if you’re looking to get life insurance.

What does life insurance have to do with it? Your life insurance rate depends on how healthy you are right now. But it also depends on whether you’re putting your health at risk with lifestyle choices like smoking. Here’s how this costly habit can affect your life insurance premium.

How smoking can affect your life insurance premium

To start, let’s look at the basics of life insurance. You buy a policy that provides financial protection and pay for it with monthly or annual fees, called premiums. What happens if you die while the policy is still active? Your beneficiaries get a specific amount of money stated in the policy, known as the death benefit. They can then use that money to help pay off debts, mortgages, loans, and other living expenses.

Basically, life insurance can help give your family financial assistance and security after you die. So, how do insurance companies put a price on that security? A lot of the cost of life insurance depends on your current state of health and your family history. But what’s one of the biggest factors insurance companies look at when assessing your health risk? Whether or not you’re a smoker.

“The health hazards of smoking and the risks it puts on your life are well-known,” says Paula MacMillan, a financial advisor from Winnipeg.

Underwriting is when an insurance company reviews your health risks after you’ve applied for life insurance. This process lets an insurer calculate the coverage you’re eligible for. It also ensures your premium reflects the level of risk.

Simply put: Your risk level affects your premium.

“Being a smoker puts people at a higher risk of smoking-related illnesses,” Macmillan says. “And this translates to higher premiums.”

READ MORE HERE

Source: BC Local News

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