Celliah Balasubaramanim v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Case Summary: Celliah Balasubaramanim v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.  [1]

 

FACTS

The Applicant Celliah Balasubaramanim (“Balasubaramanim”) was injured in motor vehicle accident on August 14, 2010. The applicant applied for accidental benefits, but was unable to resolve a dispute with his insurer State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (“State Farm”), the Respondent, and applied for arbitration at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”) under the Insurance Act [2]. On November 20, 2013 Balasubaramanim attended the initial pre-hearing discussion with his counsel. The first resumption of pre-hearing was scheduled for February 14, 2014. On the day of pre-hearing, the counsel for Balasubaramanim appeared alone and informed FSCO that the solicitor/client relationship had broken down. FSCO allowed the counsel to withdraw from representing the Applicant. The second pre-hearing conference was scheduled for March 21, 2014. On the day of second pre-hearing resumption, only State Farm’s representative and counsel appeared. Despite receiving proper notice that the claim could be dismissed without hearing, Balasubaramanim failed to appear and failed to communicate with FSCO.

 

ISSUES

1. Should Balasubaramanim’s Application for Arbitration be dismissed?

2. Is State Farm entitled to expenses?

 

LAW

To determine whether the Application should be dismissed FSCO relied on Rule 9.1(c) and Rule 68 of the Dispute Resolution Practice Code [3].

 

68. Dismissal of proceeding without hearing

68.1 Subject to Rule 68.2, an adjudicator may dismiss a proceeding without a hearing where the proceeding is frivolous, vexatious or is commenced in bad faith.

68.2 Before dismissing a proceeding under this Rule, an adjudicator shall deliver written notice to all parties of the intention to dismiss the proceeding on the grounds set out in Rule 68.1.

68.3Where a party objects to a dismissal of the proceeding pursuant to Rule 68.1 or seeks to make written submissions with respect to the dismissal, the party must:

(a) provide the grounds upon which the party objects to the dismissal of the proceeding, or set out any other issues or concerns, in writing; and

(b) serve the material upon the other parties and file it within 20 days of the date of the notice provided under Rule 68.2.

68.4 An adjudicator will consider any written objections or submissions received and may make an order on such terms as he or she considers just.

 

9. Representation

9.1 A party may represent him or herself or may appoint another person to represent him or herself.

(c) Parties and their representatives must provide the Dispute Resolution Group with written notice of any change of their address, telephone number and e-mail address. The Dispute Resolution Group is entitled to rely upon the last known addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses contained in its records.

 

ANALYSIS

The Notice of Hearing and Notice of Motion were sent to the address provided by Balasubaramanim. Under Rule 9.1(c) FSCO is allowed to rely on the last known address provided.

Under Rule 68.2 a proper notice shall be sent before the proceeding could be dismissed. The letter containing notice was sent to Balasubaramanim on February 14, 2014.

There is no evidence that the Applicant communicated with FSCO or that FSCO received any written submissions or objections under Rule 68.3 or Rule 68.4.

By failing to advise FSCO and State Farm whether he is proceeding with the application, Balasubaramanim prolonged the proceeding. As the result, State Farm incurred extra expenses. Thus, FSCO found Balasubaramanim’s claim vexatious. Under Rule 68.1 FSCO may dismiss this proceeding.

 

CONCLUSION

Balasubaramanim’s Application for Arbitration is dismissed. State Farm is entitled to expenses in the amount of $300, inclusive of HST.

 


 

[1] Celliah Balasubaramanim v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., FSCO A13-003336

[2] Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.8

[3] Dispute Resolution Practice Code, Fourth Edition, January 2014

 

Iaroslavna Serenko is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *