Leavitt v. Hooper 2012 NBBR 74
Damages - Limits of compensatory damages - Remoteness - Torts - Recoverable damages - Purely economic loss
The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident with the defendant. The defendant, who was insured by AXA, admitted liability. The plaintiff’s insurer, Aviva, made weekly payments to the plaintiff for loss of income (Section B benefits). The plaintiff commenced an action against the defendant. AXA defended on the defendant’s behalf. Shortly after the action was commenced, Aviva ceased paying Section B benefits after 104 weeks when it determined that the plaintiff no longer qualified for benefits. The defendant (in effect AXA) commenced third party proceedings against Aviva, claiming contribution for the weekly indemnity benefits from the date Aviva terminated benefits and for future benefits. Subsequently, the defendant (in effect AXA) sought to amend the third party claim against Aviva to add a claim for damages for intentionally causing economic loss allegedly suffered because of Aviva’s “unlawful breach of contract with its insured” by not continuing the plaintiff’s weekly indemnity payments. Aviva claimed that the tort of unlawful interference with economic interests could not be engaged through the third party claim. Aviva sought summary judgment to have the third party claim dismissed.
The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, Trial Division, denied the defendant’s motion to amend her third party claim against Aviva. Aviva’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the third party claim was granted.