Saturday, May 11, 2013

Peel Law Association v. Royal Insurance: The Defence Costs of Litigating Racial Profiling of Pieters and Noble

By Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A., LL.B., L.E.C.
Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario, Canada)
Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana, Island of Trinidad)
Posted on May 11, 2013

My attention was brought to a recent decision in Peel Law Association v. Royal Insurance, 2013 ONSC 2312. This is a case where the insurer refused to indemnify PLA for defence costs involved in the case before the Human Rights Tribunal where Brian Noble and I were racially profiled. The Court wrote that "[5] PLA's defence costs have exceeded $116,889.41." The Tribunal awarded a modest $2000.00 for the finding of discrimination which I have returned to PLA.

The takeaway I see here is that it is certainly in everyone's interest to make their best efforts to settle human rights case given the above and in light of the high cost of the litigation for all parties were this matter to be subjected to a protected hearing on the merits.

For background information:

Noble v. Peel Law Association, 2009 CarswellOnt 3496, 2009 HRTO 805 (CanLII)  (Vice Chair B. Eyolfson); Noble v. Peel Law Association2009 CarswellOnt 1758; 2009 HRTO 357 (CanLII)  (Vice Chair K. Joaquim); Pieters v. Peel Law Association2010 CarswellOnt 9354, [2010] O.H.R.T.D. No. 2398, 2010 HRTO 2411 (CanLII) (Vice Chair E. Whist); PeelLaw Association v. Pieters2012 CarswellOnt 2026, [2012] O.J. No. 684, (2012), 288 O.A.C. 185, 2012 ONSC 1048, 213 A.C.W.S. (3d) 729 (Div. Ct.) (Chapnik, Hockin and Hoy JJ); Peel Law Association v. Royal Insurance, 2013 ONSC 2312 (CanLII) (Donohue, J.); Peel Law Assn. v. Pieters, 2012 CarswellOnt 8616 (Gillese, Epstein, Feldman JJ.A.); Peel Law Association v. Pieters, 2013 ONCA 396, [2013] 116 O.R. (3d) 812013 CarswellOnt 7881, 2013 O.J. No. 2695, 228 A.C.W.S. (3d) 204  (Cronk, Juriansz and Pepall JJ.A.)

Court rules in favour of RSA and broker after liability client demands payment for defence costs;
National Post "Dreadlock discrimination real: black lawyer’s human rights appeal told" November 19, 2012, Toronto Sun "Discrimination case tough to establish", Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun, November 19, 2012 and Law Times, Lawyer’s racial profiling case argued at appeal court, by Yamri Taddese, December 31, 2012.


Ernest Julius Guiste said...

Not a wise move by any standards. In addition, those costs could not reasonably have been incurred on this claim. Reasonable costs would look like this:

- $7,500 defence at first instance
- $10,000 - Divisional Court - JR
- $15,000 - Court of Appeal


selwyn.pieters said...

A more realistic estimate would look like this:

- $15,500 defence at first instance
- $25,000 - Divisional Court - JR
- $35,000 - Court of Appeal