Interesting reasons for judgment were recently released in the case of Hutton v. Hutton 2020 BCSC 2046. In this wills and estates case, a brother and sister entered into a contentious dispute surrounding the estate of their mother. Their mother’s will left the majority of the estate to the sister. The brother sought a larger portion of the estate and sued under s. 60 of the Wills, Estates, and Succession Act on the basis that the will was not just, adequate, or equitable in the circumstances. He also alleged that there was malfeasance by his sister in her scope as a Power of Attorney of their mother before she passed.
In February 2020, the parties engaged in a judicial settlement conference. The sister alleged that a settlement agreement was reached at the judicial settlement conference but the brother disputed this, stating that there was no agreement. As a result, the sister brought an application before the court to enforce the settlement agreement.
On analysis of the circumstances, Chief Justice Hinkson found that there had been a “meeting of the minds” despite allegations to the contrary by the brother. In the end, a clear case of settler’s remorse further prolonged this extensive litigation. As a result, Chief Justice Hinkson awarded special costs to the sister as a result of her brother’s “scandalous and reprehensible” conduct in not honouring the settlement agreement.
A settlement is not something that can be entered into and then abandoned and this decision makes it clear that the Courts can, and will, enforce a settlement between parties when it is clear one has been reached – regardless of any regrets or remorse the parties may feel after the fact.
On May 1,2021 ICBC is enacting a new no-fault insurance model. This model is referred as an “enhanced care”, individuals involved in car accidents in British Columbia will no longer be able to sue for injuries.
Insurance brokers have a duty to give sound insurance advice. In a commercial insurance context, brokers are required to know the in/out of a clients’ business in order to source and secure the proper insurance coverage.
Many businesses have been forced to close, limit their hours, or reduce their capacity. Despite a vaccine, the economic impact will likely continue, particularly in the face of new strains of the virus.
On January 28, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court addressed “inadequacies in current legal responses to internet defamation and harassment” by creating a new tort of internet harassment and cyber bullying.