By Julius Melnitzer | May 31, 2023
The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a $248,931 judgment against an employer that denied long-term disability benefits to an employee, citing the trial judge’s misinterpretation of eligibility requirements.
“The employee’s position was that he was on temporary medical leave, but he had been working until the day he left and the medical evidence clearly indicated that nothing prevented him from working before that,” says Justin Heimpel, a partner at Sorbara Schumacher McCann LLP who represented the employer, Stahle Construction Inc.
In January 2014, construction site supervisor Roberto Soave took a temporary leave of absence, saying he required surgery to deal with a hernia. About six weeks later and before the hernia operation had been scheduled, Soave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. He applied for long-term disability benefits from Great-West Life Assurance Co. (now known as Canada Life Assurance Co.) through Mercon Benefit Services, Stahle’s group benefits provider. The insurer denied his claim because he wasn’t working when the accident occurred. MORE . . .
Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or https://legalwriter.net/contact.