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Court rules in favour of personal-injury claims cap

A group of injured drivers have lost their court battle to have Nova Scotia’s $2,500 cap on personal-injury claims thrown out.

A group of injured drivers have lost their court battle to have Nova Scotia’s $2,500 cap on personal-injury claims thrown out.

The group, called the Coalition against No-Fault Insurance, took the province to court in 2004.

Two of its members, Melissa Gionet and Anna Marie MacDonald, complained that the cap discriminated against them as women who would suffer more economically because of the cap, and as people disabled by their car accidents.

MacDonald was hurt in two accidents in 2003 and 2004. Gionet was seven months’ pregnant when a 2003 accident left her unable to go back to her old job.

In a 94-page decision released yesterday, Justice Walter Goodfellow ruled the province has the right to set the cap as it did.

“It must be remembered that the challenged threshold does yield lower insurance premiums for all drivers, including those who are old, young or poor,” Goodfellow wrote.

“People who suffer ‘minor injuries’ are not a disadvantaged group in society such as the deaf.”

In November 2003, then-premier John Hamm put a $2,500 cap on all but the most serious pain and suffering claims. Hamm’s move came after skyrocketing car insurance rates left voters screaming for relief.

 
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