Focus On

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE - Accident benefits - Death benefits

Monday, December 16, 2019 @ 9:34 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the insured’s dependent children from a decision dismissing their action for a declaration that they were each entitled to a full spousal death benefit under the Automobile Accident Insurance Act, not to a prorated share of that amount. The appellants’ father, who died in a motor vehicle accident, had no surviving spouse within the meaning of the Act.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. Section 145(6) of the Act provided that death benefits were to be paid in the prescribed manner when there was more than one dependent. As a result, s. 145(6) necessarily signaled that, when there was more than one dependent, each of them was entitled to something other than the full amount of the death benefit. If each dependent was entitled to the full amount of the benefit, there would be no reason to include s. 145(6) in the Act. Section 145 could only reasonably be taken to mean that, when there were multiple dependents, they would share a single spousal death benefit. Section 26 of the Personal Injury Benefits Regulations could not be read as somehow acknowledging, by not mentioning s. 144(4), that the appellants were each entitled to a full spousal death benefit payment. Section 26 made no reference to a benefit payable under s. 144(4) since s. 144(4) only established the minimum amount of those benefits.

Johnson v. Saskatchewan Government Insurance, [2019] S.J. No. 426, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, R.G. Richards C.J.S., P.A. Whitmore and R. Leurer JJ.A., October 30, 2019. Digest No. TLD-December162019002