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Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds “60 Day” Rule for FSCO Mediations

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a decision from the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario that declared a mediation by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) failed if it has not been mediated within 60 days of the application being submitted.

In Cornie v. Security National [2012 ONSC 905], which was heard with three other similar cases, Justice J.W. Sloan found the insurance companies’ postion that accident victims must simply wait to be ”preposterous” and suggests that FSCO can continue to try to comply with the 60 day period or seek a change and/or ask for some legislative direction to extend the 60 day period in appropriate circumstances.  This decision was posted in our blog on February 9, 2012.

This ruling means that, when an accident benefits insurer has denied a benefit, the insured can apply for mediation at FSCO and, 60 days after the mediation has been filed, the insured can then move on to either arbitration or a lawsuit against the insurer if the mediation has not been conducted within that timeframe.

The Court of Appeal concluded their decision by stating the following:

[56]        The legislative scheme for resolving disputes about statutory accident benefits requires that insured persons resort to a mandatory mediation process before commencing a court proceeding or submitting their disputes to arbitration. The Act, the regulations and the DRPC make it clear that this process is intended to be completed within 60 days from the filing of an application for mediation with FSCO, unless the parties agree to an extension of time. The scheme postpones the right of insured persons to commence civil actions against their insurer in order to allow the mediation process to be completed within the time prescribed, but leaves them free to commence actions once that period has expired.

2 Responses to “Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds “60 Day” Rule for FSCO Mediations”

  • Thanks for these posts-very informative!

    Any idea how long claimants are waiting, typically, for mediations now?

    Kerry Erle, M.Cl.Sc.
    Speech-Language Pathologist
    London Speech and Language Centre

  • That is a very good question, Kerry.

    FSCO has been making attempts at decreasing the backlog by doubling the amount of mediations being conducted. They have outsourced to another company, ADR Chambers, to help in this effort.

    For newer mediation applications FSCO seems to be moving much quicker and they are trying to get the mediations completed within the 60-day period.

    The problem now is that the total amount of mediations has basically tripled in number and most insurers are having difficulties with staff to meet the increased demand.

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