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Insurance Law - Automobile insurance - Accident benefits

Thursday, September 08, 2016 @ 8:00 PM  

Application by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) for an order quashing Bourelle’s appeal. Bourelle was involved in motor vehicle accidents in 1996 and 1998 and began receiving benefits pursuant to The Automobile Accident Insurance Act (AAIA). SGI ultimately terminated those benefits. In 2002, Bourelle appealed SGI’s decision. In 2016, Bourelle was ordered to attend on a physician for the purpose of undergoing an independent medical examination. Bourelle filed a notice of appeal asking that the decision be set aside. SGI submitted Bourelle’s appeal should be quashed because it was initiated without her having first obtained leave to appeal as required by s. 8 of The Court of Appeal Act. Bourelle conceded that the decision was interlocutory, but submitted that leave to appeal was not required because the AAIA gave her a right of appeal and the order concerned an injunction and thus fell within the scope of s. 8(2)(a)(iii) of the AAIA.

HELD: Application allowed. The appeal was quashed. The word “decision” within the meaning of s. 199 of the AAIA was clearly a reference to a decision on the substantive merits of an appeal taken pursuant to s. 197 of the AAIA. It could not reasonably be contemplated that the Legislature intended to create a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal in relation to any and every interlocutory decision in the course of a s. 197 appeal. Bourelle’s argument that the decision was an injunction, and therefore not something that attracted the obligation for leave to appeal, was not accepted. The merits of SGI’s application had never been analyzed through an injunction-type lens. The broad approach suggested by Bourelle would frustrate s. 8 of The Court of Appeal Act, which was aimed at preventing appeals of interlocutory decisions unless leave was granted.