Court permits Insured to Appoint Counsel at Insurer’s Expense: Temple Insurance Company v Sazwan, 2018 ABQB 156

In 2018, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Court) handed down a decision that provided a precedent for an insured to choose its preferred counsel that the insurers will have the onus of financing. This is permitted in certain circumstances only, and requires a reasonable apprehension of conflict of interest.

Background

The Court reached its 2018 decision  by way of an Amended Originating Application. In this case, the Applicants were Temple Insurance Company, Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, XL Reinsurance America Inc, Arch Insurance Canada Ltd, Everest Insurance Company of Canada and Lloyd’s Underwriters (Insurers). The Respondents in this action were Clark Sazwan and Denise Sazwan (Sazwans).

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Analysis of Weir Jones and its Application in BF

Overview:

The Alberta Court of Appeal provides clarification of the test for summary judgment applications in Weir-Jones Technical Services Incorporated v Purolator Courier Ltd, 2019 ABCA 49 [“Weir”]. The Court of Appeal notes the rift that had emerged in case law while discussing the standard of proof that is required in a summary judgment application.[1] In particular, decisions of Can v Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, and Stefanyk v Sobeys Capital Incorporated, 2018 ABCA 125, demonstrate the divergence in the application of the standard of proof that is required for summary judgment.[2] The Court mentioned that “it is now possible to find a quote in the case law to support virtually any view of the test to be used in summary judgment”.

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