Mar 17, 2014

Summary of Valness v. MacLowich

Valness v. MacLowich, 1998 CanLII 12338 (SK CA)
The plaintiff was awarded damages against her solicitor for professional negligence for failure to commence an action for personal injuries suffered in the course of her employment against her employer within the time limitation. The trial judge had found that the plaintiff would have been able to realize on the judgment on the basis of an insurance policy which covered the employer for third party liability and that the employer was not covered by the exclusion clause. The trial judge made no finding on the principle issue of whether the employer had the ability to satisfy the judgment. The plaintiff/respondent filed a notice to vary claiming the judge erred in her assessment of damages.HELD: 1)It was not necessary to consider the interpretation placed on the exclusion clause under the policy of insurance. There was evidence that the employer could have satisfied the judgment. 2)If the solicitor had commenced the action he would have claimed the amount paid or payable by the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) on behalf of the employee. The WCB was entitled to recover from the employee an amount equal to that paid to her. The amount recovered from the solicitor is impressed with a trust that she indemnify the WCB for the amount received. 3)The damages awarded were neither so inordinately high or low as to permit interference by the Court of Appeal. 4)Leave was granted to apply for further directions if the parties were unable to agree on the costs of the respondent's legal fees. 5)The employee was awarded costs on double Column V.