Ryan Irving

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As the latest addition to Harper Grey's insurance group, Ryan is an associate in the practice of commercial,health and insurance company law. He joined the firm in 2010 as a articling student while in law school at the University of British Columbia. Ryan has assisted senior counsel on numerous insurance, health and commercial cases at the Supreme Court of British Columbia. He will sit for the Bar Exam in June 2011 to become a certified lawyer.


Articles By This Author

Broker Liable for Failing to Advise Insured of Vacancy Exclusion

An insured brought an action against his insurance broker for failing to advise him about the vacancy exclusion in his policy.  The action was allowed and the insured was awarded damages.

Cheecham v. Saskatchewan Government Insurance [2011] S.J. No. 500, August 2, 2011, Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, B. Scherman J.

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Failure to Supervise Child falls within the "Failure to Act" Exclusion

Insured sued for damages to school caused by a fire started by the insured's son. Insured brought a third party claim against his insurer for indemnification under his homeowner's liability policy. Insure brought Motion for a determination of whether or not it owed the insured a duty to defend.

Motion allowed. No duty to defend found because the only allegations against the insured were for a failure to act and these allegations were specifically caught by the "intentional act" exclusion clause.

Durham District School Board v. Grodesky [2011] O.J. No. 3533, May 31, 2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.S. Gunsolus J.

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Limitation period in policy trumps Limitation Act

Appeal by the insured from the dismissal of his action on the basis that the action was brought outside the one-year limitation period in the Insurance Act. The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in law in failing to apply the two-year limitation period contained in the policy and further that the policy limitation gave rise to a rolling limitation period.

Sander v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2011] B.C.J. No. 5, January 6, 2011, British Columbia Court of Appeal, L.S.G. Finch C.J.B.C., M.E. Saunders and K.E. Neilson JJ.A.

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Grow-ops qualify as an act of vandalism

 

An insured homeowner sought insurance coverage for the damage caused by a marijuana grow-operation carried out by  the insured's tenants.  The insured argued that a grow-op falls within coverage for vandalism or malicious acts.   The insurer argued that mould and moisture damage caused by the grow-op fell outside of coverage. The British Columbia Supreme Court held that a tenant who has a grow-op shows a reckless disregard for the landlord's rights.   That disregard provides a sufficient basis to infer malice on the part of the tenant.  The Court held that the mould and moisture damage caused by the grow-op can therefore be considered damage caused by an act of vandalism.

Hanlon v. ING Insurance Co. of Canada, [2011] B.C.J. No. 84, January 24, 2011, British Columbia Supreme Court, R.J. Sewell J.

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Is dancing at a nightclub within the scope of employment?

An articled student, Danicek, was injured when an associate lawyer from the same firm, Poole, fell on her on the dance floor of a nightclub.  Both had attended a firm dinner and then proceeded to the night club.  Poole sought a declaration that he was entitled to a defence and indemnity under the firm's insurance policy for an action brought by Danicek.  The court held that while the duty to defend was triggered by an allegation in the pleadings that Poole was acting within the scope of his employment, there was no duty to indemnify because it was established at trial that Poole was not, in fact, acting in furtherance of the firm's business.

Danicek v. Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang, [2011] B.C.J. No. 78, January 21, 2011, British Columbia Supreme Court, S.F. Kelleher J.

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Benefits received prior to adjudication can be deducted from damages

The appeal by an insurer from a decision holding that it was entitled to deduct from amounts payable to the insured under her underinsured motorist coverage only those Canada Pension Plan disability benefits actually paid to the date that she settled her claim with the other motorist and owner. The appeal was allowed. Although the insured’s right to damages arose at the time of the accident, the quantum of damages stood to be fixed as of the date of adjudication. The insurer was entitled to deduct all amounts recovered by the insured from the date of the accident to the determination of her damages entitlement by the Court.

Economical Mutual Insurance Co. v. Lapalme, [2010] N.B.J. No. 421, December 2, 2010, New Brunswick Court of Appeal, J.E. Drapeau C.J.N.B., M.E.L. Larlee and K.A. Quigg JJ.A.

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Court interprets "insured person" under OPCF 44R

Application for summary judgment by the superintendent of Financial Services Commission of Ontario dismissing the claim of the plaintiff on the basis that the plaintiff was an insured person for the purposes of coverage under an automobile policy and was thus not entitled to seek payment of any judgment rendered in her favour out of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (the "Fund"). The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the "Court") held that the plaintiff was an insured person for the purposes of coverage under the optional Family Protection Coverage Endorsement (“OPCF 44R”) and as such had no recourse to payment out of the Fund.

Graham v. Ontario (Superintendent, Financial Services Commission), [2010] O.J. No. 5602, December 21, 2010, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, K.B. Corrick J.

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Sump pump failure does not fall within standard exclusion clauses

Exclusion clauses must contemplate the exact cause of property damage.  That was the message delivered by the Saskatchewan Provincial Court after a homeowner commenced an action against the insurer for failure to provide coverage for water damage.  The damage occurred after the homeowner removed an exterior pipe that distributed run-off water away from the home.  The insurer argued that the loss was excluded from coverage. The Court held that none of the standard form exclusion clauses contained in the insurance policy contemplated the exact peril that caused the loss. Judgment was granted against the insurer.

Wagner v. Saskatchewan Government Insurance, [2011] S.J. No. 10, January 5, 2011, Saskatchewan Provincial Court (Civil Division), B.M. Singer Prov. Ct. J.

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Charterer required to pay for damages not covered by insurance

The appeal by the charterer from the decision of the arbitrator ruling that it was the intention of the parties that the risk of loss or damage to the barges rested with the charterer and that the owner could proceed with its claim for damages. The British Columbia Supreme Court (the “Court”) upheld the arbitrator’s decision and concluded that the charterer did not acquire “tort immunity” by virtue of its agreement to insure the barges. 

Lafarge Canada Inc. v. JJM Construction Ltd., [2010] B.C.J. No. 2610, December 24, 2010, British Columbia Supreme Court, C. Lynn Smith J.

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