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March 16, 2010

Court rejects argument deductible does not apply to awards of exactly $100,000

Van Winckle v. Siodlowski, [2009] O.J. No. 4807 (S.C.J.).

In this motor vehicle accident case, the jury awarded the plaintiff exactly $100,000 in non-pecuniary general damages. The plaintiff made the creative argument that the deductible should not apply where the award is exactly $100,000. Section 267.5(8) provides the deductible does not apply where the amount of non-pecuniary general damages "would exceed $100,000".

The Court held that "exceed" means greater than, not greater than or equal to. The deductible applied.

The decision makes sense. If the legislative had meant "greater than or equal to" $100,000, it would have said so.

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