Areas Of Practice

  • Fiduciary Liability

    Fiduciary liability policies address another evolving area of coverage, providing protection to welfare and pension plans, the sponsor organization, and individuals acting as fiduciaries or administrators of the plans. Coverage is granted for violations of the growing number of responsibilities, obligations, or duties imposed upon fiduciaries by statute and the common law. We are experienced in defending fiduciaries and defending coverage cases where the fiduciaries have breached the terms of the policy.

    Cyber Liability

    Dolden Wallace Folick LLP is a leader in the areas of computer network security and personal data breach litigation and related insurance issues. The firm has been a pioneer in developing “made in Canada” cyber policy wordings.  Over the past six years the firm has addressed a wide range of coverage and defence matters involving privacy and data breach, including PIPEDA exposures, the tort of intrusion on seclusion, statutory claims under the provincial Privacy Acts, and proceedings before various Canadian privacy commissioners.  DWF acts as breach coach for several national insurers’ cyber programs.

    Our expertise covers pre-breach risk assessment, post-breach notification to regulators and affected individuals, negotiations with Privacy Commissioners, addressing CASL claims before CRTC, coverage disputes regarding obligations under various policy types for cyber breach events, cross border issues in relation to cyber claims, and defence of privacy breach and CASL (Canada’s anti-spam legislation) breach litigation, including class actions.

    Employment Practice Liability

    With the emergence of EPL policies as a “stand alone” wording we have been consulted by over a half dozen national and foreign-based insurers to develop “made in Canada” EPL wording suitable for the reality of Canadian legal exposures as opposed to comparable developments in Great Britain and Canada.

    In the “duty to defend” area we have been called upon by EPL insurers to deal with a wide range of discrimination, sexual abuse and wrongful dismissal cases to defend both the insured entity, senior management and employees. We operate “1-800” 24 hour call lines for the benefit of insureds to avoid having employment-related problems result in actual claims.

    Directors and Officers Liability

    The increase in litigation against directors and officers in Canada has been dramatic. Our firm is well positioned to respond to any claims made against directors and officers, whether on a coverage or defence basis, as we have for some time taken assignments from most of the leading providers of D&O coverage in Canada.

    We have defended a wide variety of officers and directors for both public and private companies in cases involving both “duty to defend” and “reimbursement” policies. We have particular expertise in acting as coverage and defence counsel in respect of securities claims. We have also defended matters for “not for profit” organizations and small companies. In the continuing defence of senior management and directors in securities and other claims we have demonstrated expertise in “due diligence” defences, responded to statutory claims brought against directors and officers, and have a track record defending management confronting allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

    Professional Liability

    Our firm is regularly retained by errors and omissions insurers to defend a wide range of professionals. Historically, we have acted for classes of professionals including architects, engineers, accountants, actuaries, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, and private health care professionals including dentists and surgical eye care clinics. As the number of occupations requiring E&O coverage expands (as per the 2006 IBC CGL “professional liability exclusion”) so does the range of professionals we defend.

    (a) Architects

    Even as program insurers change we continue to act for architects in British Columbia. Our experience has included the defence of architects in respect of water ingress claims, delay claims, improper estimates and budgeting, inadequate field reviews, improper certification of draws, monetary and time restrictions on suing and a host of other problems that architects can encounter.

    (b) Engineers

    Our firm has acted for a wide range of structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineers that encounter problems both during and following the completion of construction. This experience has arisen both in the context of the current “leaky condo” problems and in other settings including settlement cases, inadequate soils cases and B.C. Building Code compliance problems.

    (c) Mortgage Brokers

    For over a decade we have acted for various broker sponsored programs for mortgage brokers and in that capacity have defended mortgage brokers confronting claims over conflict of interest, “failure to advance” funds, and lack of due diligence on mortgage funding.

    (d) Health Care Professionals

    Through various programs maintained by wholesale brokers we have defended a wide range of private sector health professionals including dentists, eye surgery clinics, private IME/X-ray clinics, holistic medical clinics and private care retirement facilities. In addition, we have acted for one of the largest Canadian insurers of the manufacturers of medical appliances that can give rise to patient claims.

    (e) Insurance Brokers

    We currently act for several E&O insurers that specialize in E&O coverage for brokers. The fact that our firm confines its practice to insurance law ensures that we have a wide ranging understanding of the insurance issues that so frequently give rise to claims against insurance brokers. We consider this to be a valuable asset in solving broker claims in a timely and cost effective manner.

  • Transportation Liability

    (a) Motor Vehicle

    Due to the existence of mandatory third party automobile insurance in British Columbia, out of province insurers need lawyers who are conversant in British Columbia’s unique statutory provisions relating to third party and no fault disability benefits. Our professionals provide an early assessment of quantum and implement a variety of defences and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to minimize your risk.

    (b) Rail

    Canada’s extensive regulations regarding the ownership and operation of rail lines present unique challenges; challenges that our lawyers have the experience and knowledge to properly resolve.

    (c) Aviation

    The aeronautics industry also operates within a unique legal environment. Our firm is versed in the common law and legislated aspects of aviation liability, including the Aeronautics Act and Carriage by Air Act. We can assist you in resolving both personal injury and property damage claims arising from the use of airplanes and helicopters.

    Sports and Recreational Liability

    We have a long history of defending municipalities, sports teams and recreational facilities and providers in respect of personal injuries arising from defects with the recreational equipment or facility or the “overly energetic” actions of the other participants. We have had significant success in defeating such actions on the basis of waivers or the claimant’s deemed acceptance of the risk.
    In 2017, Lorne Folick, Michael Libby, and Paul Dawson co-authored a textbook entitled Sports and Recreation Liability Law in Canada.
    Sport Rec Book Cover

    Sexual Abuse

    Civil claims for sexual abuse are on the rise in Canada and elsewhere. Such claims can be “long tail claims” extending to incidents that occurred in the distant past, when arising from “recovered memories” by a third party claimant. Our professionals have the knowledge to defend institutions against claims for sexual abuse. We routinely use alternative dispute resolution to minimize the increasing risk of large damage awards.

    Liquor Liability

    Our firm is particularly well-regarded in the field of liquor liability defence. We currently act for several insurers who provide coverage on a program basis for bars, pubs, and restaurants. Particular expertise is available in the area of commercial liquor Liability as well as social host and “employer” host liability. We regularly publish and speak on this subject and our experience in this area allows us to take advantage of the standard of care distinctions between various classes of establishment.

    In 2010, Lorne Folick, Michael Libby, and Paul Dawson co-authored a textbook entitled Liquor and Host Liability Law in Canada.  

    LHLL

    Occupiers’ Liability

    The firm currently acts for many of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurers. Particular expertise is available in the context of “occupier’s liability” of commercial liquor establishments. Our firm has litigated numerous cases concerning “who is an occupier”, the liabilities of both landlords and tenants, and the related issue of which types of liabilities do not fall within the framework of the Occupiers’ Liability Act. We provide an early assessment of the quantum exposure and the merits of available defenses.

    Complex Personal Injury

    Our firm has a Complex Injury Team to address the difficult issues that can arise from complex or catastrophic personal injuries. While also experienced in addressing the liability issues giving rise to the loss, including those liability practice areas listed below, the members of the Complex Injury Team focus their practices on dealing with the challenging issues that often arise in respect of causation for a claimant’s post accident complaints, the valuation of loss of income earning capacity and the appropriateness of past or future care needs.

    Specifically, members of our firm’s Complex Injury Team have considerable experience dealing with cases involving infants and adults with:

    (a) serious brain injury;

    (b) mild traumatic brain injury with allegations of associated severe functional impairment;

    (c) catastrophic physical injury including spinal cord injuries;

    (d) chronic pain;

    (e) psychological injury;

    (f) varying degrees of injury superimposed on a complicated pre-accident history.

    In depth discovery and factual investigation and the engagement of appropriate, respected, properly instructed experts, are all critical elements in the proper evaluation and successful defence of these cases. Our experienced practitioners’ early and comprehensive approach to defending complex and catastrophic injury cases has proven effective in providing our clients with timely and accurate assessments as well as practical and cost-effective results.

  • Subrogation

    Subrogation litigation is an essential element of insurance claims management. Our team of lawyers is experienced and qualified to pursue recovery from other insured and non-insured entities to the benefit of our clients. Our cost effective approach to subrogation and settlement maximizes the ultimate recovery to our insured clients.

    Municipal Liability

    Municipalities are an easily identified target of personal injury actions but our professionals are experienced at asserting the full range of statutory and common law defences available to such entities. Along with the unique limitation defences available to municipalities, we are also experienced in addressing the specific standard of care issues unique to government actors including the “operational vs. policy” arguments that are often key to a successful defence.

    Environmental

    Environmental legislation continues to evolve in British Columbia and elsewhere. Our firm has been in the forefront of educating risk managers and claims personnel in the new and onerous duties placed upon insurers and the broadening potential for claims exposure. We have undertaken several industry seminars to address the new legislative framework and to address coverage wordings to limit exposure to the industry and have defended first party claims under the new breed of “cost cap” and pollution liability insurance products.

    Construction

    We have defended a wide variety of construction site participants including general contractors, sub-contractors, material suppliers and related service providers including construction site security firms and semi-professionals.

    Our firm has acted for construction site participants not only in the context of the traditional construction matrix, but as well on “design build” projects and owner managed projects. Our firm has been involved in litigation concerning complex contractual disputes and related limitation period issues. We have worked extensively with industry experts and have demonstrated expertise in defending contractors when the issue is the adequacy and timeliness of the work. In addition, we have defended construction suppliers in disputes that entail the use and suitability of “proprietary” techniques or products that may give rise to loss or damage following completion.

    Products Liability

    Insurers are often confronted with claims against manufacturers of products that enter the stream of commerce in British Columbia. Our lawyers act for domestic and international insurers and “self insured” product manufacturers. We have extensive experience defending manufacturers of asbestos, recreational equipment, medical and dental equipment and implants. In addition, our firm has undertaken seminars for U.S. insurers to familiarize those U.S. insurers with products liability law in British Columbia.

     

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