Are Section 44 Exam Reports under SABS Subject to PIPEDA Disclosure?

R. Lee Akazaki, C.S., B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Accident Benefits, Administrative Law, Commercial, Privacy0 Comments

To date, the Ontario personal injury bar has assumed that assessors and “IME” companies performing examinations under s. 44 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) are subject to access requirements under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).   The “leading case” on IME’s and PIPEDA, Wyndowe v. Rousseau, a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal, held that a doctor appointed to perform an independent medical examination under a disability insurance policy had to provide access to a final report and notes.  The disability insurer’s internal process under the private insurance policy would not have been a formal dispute resolution process and therefore not exempt from PIPEDA. Under clause 9(3)(d) of PIPEDA, an organization is not required to give access to personal information if it was “generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.”  Is a s. 44 examination subject to that exemption?  The federal Office of the Privacy … Read More

The Low-Down on PIPEDA Requests in Personal Injury Cases

R. Lee Akazaki, C.S., B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Civil Litigation, Insurance0 Comments

Seemingly out of nowhere, institutional litigants, insurers and the third-party vendors they retain to support their obligations in responding to claims have been inundated with requests for disclosure on pain of complaints or actions to collect damages under the Canadian federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  In some instances, parties or their lawyers directly approach non-parties such as medical experts and private investigation companies and demand production of documents separately from any disclosure procedures in the claims or law suits. It is hard to point to any single rationale for employing the resort to the federal privacy legislation, except that obtaining access to personal information is probably not one of them.  Traditionally, a party to a personal injury law suit would, through his or her lawyer, be the conduit for information in health records, employment files and other personal data.  The defendant or respondent would be the … Read More