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Trial Decision Confirms a Plaintiff’s Section B File is Relevant for the Purpose of Disclosure in a Motor Vehicle Accident

MacGlashing v. Fernley and City of Moncton, 2022 NBQB 129

Read Time: 4 minutes

By: Chloe Jardine (Articling Student)

On March 30, 2016, Natalie MacGlashing (“the Plaintiff”) and Sarah Fernley (“the Defendant Fernley”) were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Plaintiff claims that the Defendant Fernley failed to stop at a stop sign. Further, the Plaintiff alleges that this stop sign was negligently built, positioned, controlled, and maintained by the City of Moncton (“the Defendant Moncton”).

In this specific motion, filed by the Defendant Fernley, the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench needed to determine how much, if any, of the Plaintiff’s Section B file with The Personal Insurance Company (“the Plaintiff’s Insurer”) needed to be produced to the Defendants.

The Court explained that standard automobile insurance policies in New Brunswick are comprised of two parts, one of which is Section B. Under this, the insured is entitled to certain benefits regardless of the cause of an accident.

Production of documents is governed by Rule 31 of the New Brunswick Rules of Court. The Plaintiff and the Defendant Fernley disagreed with the language of an undertaking given to the Plaintiff during the December 2018 discovery that related to the Plaintiff’s Section B file. The Defendant Fernley believed the undertaking was for the Plaintiff’s entire Section B file from July 26, 2017 to present, while the Plaintiff believed the undertaking was to provide a summary of her Section B file. No transcript of discovery was provided to verify either position.

The Defendant Fernley argued that the information contained in the Plaintiff’s Section B file was relevant to the allegations made by the Plaintiff in this action (i. e. injuries), and it would be “inequitable” to proceed to a trial without being able to review this information. The Plaintiff argued that many parts of a Section B file are irrelevant to an action of this nature and therefore the Section B file should not need to be produced. Additionally, the Plaintiff argued that a request for the Plaintiff’s “Section B file from July 26, 2017 to present” was too broad and the motion should be dismissed on this basis.

Ultimately, the Court ordered the Plaintiff’s Section B file be produced to the Defendants (subject to any privileged information). It reasoned that the Plaintiff is a named insured who is entitled to her own Section B file, and by including the Section B file in her Affidavit of Documents as being “in her possession and control” she acknowledges that this document is relevant to this matter.

Link: https://www.canlii.org/en/nb/nbqb/doc/2022/2022nbqb129/2022nbqb129.html?autocompleteStr=2022%20NBQB%20129&autocompletePos=1

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