Jul 10, 2018

Torts/Insurance: Collateral Benefits; CPP 

Tibbetts v Murphy, 2017 NSCA 35 (CanLII)
As Ms. Tibbetts drove her motorcycle behind that of Mr. Joyce along a road in Antigonish County, she was struck by an oncoming truck driven by Mr. Murphy. Ms. Tibbetts brought an action in negligence against Mr. Murphy, who added Mr. Joyce as a third party. The trial judge apportioned liability for the accident as two-thirds by Ms. Tibbetts and one-third to Mr. Murphy. What is the proper interpretation of s. 113A of the Insurance Act, “the damages to which a plaintiff is entitled for income loss and loss of earning capacity shall be reduced by all payments in respect of the incident the plaintiff has received…for income loss or loss of earning capacity under the laws of any jurisdiction or under an income-continuation benefit plan”. The parties disagree over whether the disability payments Ms. Tibbetts received under the CPP must be deducted from the damages awarded. The N.S.S.C., Trial Division held the CPP payments were deductible from damages awarded for loss of income and lost earning capacity. The C.A. dismissed the appeal, holding through s. 113A, the Legislature intended to reduce automobile insurance premiums, thereby changing the collateral benefits rule and the treatment of CPP disability benefits. 'The application for leave to appeal...is dismissed with costs.'