(Montreal) A Montreal dental clinic has filed a class action lawsuit against its insurance company to compensate for the loss of income it incurred during the confinement of the first wave of the epidemic.
Posted on February 15
Boulevard Gallery Dango Dental Center is claiming about $342,000, plus interest, from L’Unique General Insurance, a subsidiary of Beneva (formerly La Capitale).
This is the amount the clinic estimates to lose between March and May 2020, when dentists in Quebec had to cease their activities, except for emergency operations, following a government decree in order to combat COVID-19.
The insurance company refused to compensate for these losses under the “Insurance for Operational Losses – Actual Losses Incurred” owned by Anju Clinic.
The class action also aims to obtain claims for other dental practices that hold this insurance policy and after they have also suffered refusal to cover losses arising from reducing or discontinuing their activities due to the pandemic.
The legal conflict stems from a divergent interpretation of this guarantee that compensates for certain losses resulting from the business interruption that “has become inevitable”.
L’Unique argues that neither the company’s bona fide nor the clinic is property insured under the policy, according to a Supreme Court ruling authorizing the class action application.
The insurance company also argues that the warranty only applies if there is property damage that results in an operating loss.
For its part, the Dental Center states that “the vocabulary of the police is too broad”, that the slowdown in activities “affected the goods described in the special conditions” and that “their request is not trivial”, we can read in the judgment.
According to the clinic, the guarantee does not include any exceptions regarding a pandemic, virus or infectious disease.
Other Quebec dental clinics also wanted permission to file a class action lawsuit in two separate applications against their insurance company that had refused work interruption compensation during the early months of COVID-19.
However, the court rejected their actions against Desjardins, Promoteuil and La Capitale.
The High Court has accepted the Anjou Dental Center case due to the “ambiguity” contained in the coverage of L’Unique’s policy, unlike other insurance companies.
“It’s an interesting ruling because it’s the only class action that has been mandated. […] This is not the same language used by other insurance companies, which requires, for example, the destruction of property located in a dental office,” commented one of the attorneys representing the class action, Ms.And the Robert Coogler, in The Canadian Press.
He states that other types of companies also wanted to file a class action against their insurance companies in the same vein, but to no avail.
L’Unique claims that its warranty content is identical to the Promutuel warranty content. Rather, the judge stated that Promutuel’s policy “clearly speaks of ‘material property'”, ruling out the possibility that an attack on ‘company’ (company) was included.
“Added to this is the fact that the outage must be the result of direct physical damage to one of these physical assets,” he adds.
The insurance company attempted to challenge the authorization of the class action. The appeals court rejected his request last fall.
So the class action was filed in mid-January. Dates for the trial, which will notably decide whether or not L’Unique should reimburse dental centers, have yet to be set.
The number of dental institutions that can benefit from a class action lawsuit is still unknown. MAnd the Kugler is also inviting companies potentially affected to contact his company, Kugler Kandestin, to learn more about the procedure.
With the case currently before the courts, L’Unique does not wish to comment, but it “challenges the lawsuit against it and notably raises the failure to cover the damages claimed,” the company told The Canadian Press via email.
This article was produced with financial support from Facebook and The Canadian Press Scholarships for News
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