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Orders - Reasons for Decision - Adequacy

Insurance - Duty to Defend

National Gallery of Canada v. Lafleur de la Capitale Inc. (Ont CA, 2017)

Here the Court of Appeal sets out principles applicable to the adequacy of judicial reasons:
[11] It is well-established that a judge is required to give reasons sufficient to permit meaningful appellate review of the correctness of the decision. This means that the judge’s reasons must allow the parties and the appellate court to discern why the judge reached his or her conclusions on key issues in circumstances which require an explanation: R. v. Sheppard, 2002 SCC 26 (CanLII), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 869, at paras. 28 and 46.

[12] The critical question is whether what the judge has stated is sufficiently intelligible in the context of the record, the issues and the submissions of counsel, to show that the judge has seized the substance of the matter and has addressed the critical issues that he was required to decided: R. v. M. (R.E.), 2008 SCC 51 (CanLII), [2008] 3 S.C.R. 3, at paras. 37, 43 and 57.
It also set out principles applicable to determining when an insurer has a duty to defend the insured:
13] In the present case, the application judge was required to decide whether or not Intact owed the respondent a duty to defend the Arsenault and Lafrenière actions. To determine this issue, the application judge had to undertake a detailed analysis of the pleadings, the insurance policy, including the Endorsement, and the maintenance contract, in the context of the following questions:

i. whether the plaintiffs showed that the loss at issue is covered under the terms of the policy;

ii. if the loss is covered, whether Intact demonstrated that an exclusion applies; and,

iii. if an exclusion applies, whether the plaintiffs established that there is an exception to the exclusion.

See: G & P Procleaners and General Contractors Inc. v. Gore Mutual Insurance Co., 2017 ONCA 298 (CanLII), [2017] O.J. No. 1871, at paras. 13-14


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