Review process lacked appropriate procedural safeguards

Insurance - Automobile Insurance - No-fault benefits

Applicant was injured in car accident and applied to insurer for determination that her accident injuries resulted in impairments that met statutory threshold for “catastrophic impairment” as defined in Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. Applicant sought hearing before License Appeal Tribunal (LAT). At time, LAT was part of cluster of tribunals known as Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO). LAT vice-chair released decision determining that threshold was not met. Applicant's counsel received anonymous letter stating that, before decision was released, it was reviewed and changed by executive chair of SLASTO. Divisional Court granted applicant's application for judicial review and set aside LAT's decision. LAT, SLASTO, and insurer appealed. Appeal dismissed. Divisional Court did not err in its conclusion that there was reasonable apprehension of lack of independence on facts of case. Divisional Court correctly found that executive chair's imposition of review on adjudicator breached rules set out in certain trilogy of Supreme Court of Canada cases. Divisional Court correctly concluded that review process lacked appropriate procedural safeguards. Divisional Court's finding of reasonable apprehension of lack of independence was supported by facts of case.

Shuttleworth v. Ontario (Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals) (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 9838, 2019 ONCA 518, M. Tulloch J.A., C.W. Hourigan J.A., and Fairburn J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 9843, 2018 ONSC 3790, Thorburn J., McKelvey J., and Myers J. (Ont. Div. Ct.).

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