Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

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40 No (third) parties allowed A hospital must pay a claim ordered by arbitration despite the existence of insurance, writes Anita Balakrishnan THE COURTS WILL stay out of a long- term disability dispute arbitrated between a hospital and union — even with an insurer involved in the dispute, a recent decision from Ontario's Court of Appeal maintains. But a lawyer who worked on the case says the ruling, Hutton v. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife Financial), 2019 ONCA 975, is "not a good place to leave the state of the law." "It's really a matter of that I think is a lot of interest to those who are practising in the sector: everything from long-term disability law to representing management in hospi- tal-sector collective bargaining and, obviously, it's of also great interest to labour relations practitioners," says Aron Zaltz of Preszler Injury Lawyers, who has requested leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. "It's an issue that the jurisprudence docu- ments incredible frustration with on the part of hospitals, who are both paying premiums on insurance that they expect a third party to provide — and then being stuck in the outcomes of arbitrations as having to pay those claims themselves." The dispute between appellant Leisa Hutton and respondent Manulife Financial centres on a 2011 car crash that broke Hutton's back. After 17 months, Manulife nixed her eligibility for LTD benefits — so Hutton filed a grievance, which was settled, with her employer, Quinte Healthcare Corporation. Meanwhile, Hutton, represented by Zaltz, had also started action against Manulife. The settlement of her grievance with the hospi- tal and the union, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, allowed Hutton to go forth with her claim against Manulife. Hutton claimed that QHC was responsible for providing the benefit plan and paying a portion of the premium — whereas, Manulife was responsible for payment of claims. But the court found that Hutton's disability enti- tlements were under "arbitral jurisdiction" and dismissed the claim against Manulife, "The adequacy of arbitration as a dispute resolution forum is going to be predicated on the tools that arbitrators have to enforce the proper remedies." Aron Zaltz, Preszler Injury Lawyers LEGAL REPORT ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

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