Combining two cases permitted proportionality between litigation costs and amount in dispute

Ontario civil | Civil Procedure

CONSOLIDATION

Combining two cases permitted proportionality between litigation costs and amount in dispute

Defendant moved for consolidation or trial together of this action with second action between parties, and for adjournment of trial of this matter currently scheduled for August 29, 2013. In this action, plaintiff claimed damages of $1,800 for accident benefits pursuant to Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (Ont.) (“SABS”). Plaintiff was involved in motor vehicle accident on September 8, 2011, for which defendant was applicable first-party insurer. Second action commenced more recently than first claim, plaintiff claimed damages of $5,457 for accident benefits arising from same accident. Motion granted. Insureds had de facto option and ability to commence separate court proceedings for separate SABS claims arising from same accident and involving same insurer. However, court was not compelled to permit separate actions to proceed to separate trials. Combining two cases permitted better proportionality between litigation cost and amount in dispute, which in turn promoted access to justice. Actions were to be tried together or heard one after other as trial judge may direct. Trial was adjourned to date in November 2013.
Oberbichler v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (Aug. 27, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., J. Sebastian Winny D.J., File No. Kitchener 2021/12) 232 A.C.W.S. (3d) 591.

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