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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


 


Legal Briefs 2009

  Month
Number
Legal brief
December
 19
As a result of my automobile accident, I no longer have any income This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

THE FACTS

For two years, the claimant had held employment with a mining drilling company. He worked on call when the company required him to work. For more than six months, he had been working on a cycle of 28 consecutive days on the company’s job site, followed by 14 consecutive days of unpaid break. Thereafter, he would return to the job site for a period of 28 days and so on, alternating between work and an unpaid break.
He had an automobile accident on the tenth day of one of his 14-day breaks. As a result of the accident, he suffered injuries which prevented him from returning to work on the job site for an indefinite period.
The employer was notified of the situation by a close family member. Thinking it was helping its employee, the company sent him a termination of employment dated the last day of work before the automobile accident.
Following his automobile accident, the employee filed a claim with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) in order to, among other things, receive an income replacement indemnity, given his then current inability to work.
The SAAQ, through a compensation agent, refused the claimant’s right to receive an income replacement indemnity. According to the SAAQ, at the time of the accident, the claimant was not a full-time salaried employee, because he was on a 14-day unpaid break and had received a notice of termination of employment.
After receiving the SAAQ’s written decision, the claimant contacted his employer. The employer confirmed in writing to the SAAQ’s compensation agent that the claimant would have returned to work on the job site for his 28-day shift had he not suffered the automobile accident. The company’s representative further indicated that no notice of termination of employment should have been sent to the claimant.
Despite this information, the SAAQ’s compensation agent maintained his position and indicated that the claimant could not immediately receive an income replacement indemnity.
The claimant therefore applied to the administrative review division for a review of the decision rendered by the SAAQ’s compensation agent.

THE ISSUE

Was the claimant entitled to contest the decision rendered by the SAAQ’s compensation agent? If so, was there a time limit within which to do so?
Was the SAAQ’s compensation agent right in deciding that the claimant was not a salaried employee?
Was the claimant entitled to receive an income replacement indemnity for the period he was unable to return to work immediately after his automobile accident?

THE DECISION

The claimant was entitled to contest the decision rendered by the compensation agent by applying to the SAAQ’s administrative review division for a review of the agent’s decision. The application to contest the decision had to be made within sixty days following receipt of the compensation agent’s written decision.
The claimant’s application contesting the decision was allowed by the SAAQ’s administrative review division.
THE GROUNDS
The SAAQ’s compensation agent improperly characterized the claimant’s status when he decided that he was not a salaried employee. According to the administrative review division, at the time of the accident, the claimant was indeed a full-time salaried employee, albeit with an atypical work schedule.
The SAAQ’s administrative review division concluded that the claimant was a full-time salaried employee, based on the following facts and documents:
- the letter from the employer’s representative indicating that the claimant would have continued to work. He would have continued to work according to the same work schedule, namely, 28 days of work and 14 days of rest, if he had not had the car accident. Under normal circumstances, he would never have received a termination of employment;
- the claimant had been employed by the mining drilling company, on an on-call basis, since his hiring two years earlier;
- the claimant had always been considered as being employed by the drilling company, during the days he worked as well as during the days of rest, with or without pay.
This work schedule, although atypical, could not, in any way, affect or undermine the claimant’s status. The fact that a person has a work schedule that differs from most of the people in the working world is not a reason to declare that he is not a full-time employee.
In conclusion, the claimant was fully entitled to receive an income replacement indemnity during the period of disability following the accident. The SAAQ was therefore required to correct its records and indemnify the claimant accordingly.



The fact that a person has a work schedule that differs from most of the people in the working world is not a reason to declare that he is not a
full-time employee.

References
Mercier-Langlois v. Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, Review decision no. 1385067-2, S.A.A.Q. Review Division, Rendered on March 27, 2009.



Legal brief *
December  2009
Number  19
Text prepared by   Le jugement dont il est question dans cette chronique a été rendu en fonction des éléments de preuves soumis au tribunal. Chaque situation est particulière. Dans le doute, nous vous suggérons de consulter un avocat de l’aide juridique. / The jugement discussed in this article was rendered based on the evidence submitted to the court. Each situation is unique. If in doubt, we suggest you consult a legal aid lawyer.
Update by   Commission des services juridiques
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
November
 18
I filed a lawsuit in Small Claims Court This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You filed a lawsuit in the Small Claims Court. You were told that you could not be represented in Small Claims Court by a lawyer, yet the other party is represented by a lawyer who is an employee of the company. Can a lawyer represent his employer in Small Claims Court? more
November
 17
Do my actions give rise to criminal liability? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When a person commits an act that has the effect of damaging property, the person will not always be criminally liable as a result, even if the act, on its surface, is wilful.

THE FACTS

The accused was separated from her husband who had a new spouse. At nightfall, she wen more

October
 16
I am being held in custody at my parent’s house This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your youngster has been arrested following serious charges and the court is of the opinion that, for the public’s protection, he should be held in custody in a reception centre. Can he be placed in the care of a responsible person? more
October
 15
Am I dangerous due to my mental state? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Ambulance attendants came to my house and took me to the hospital although I refused to go. Upon my arrival, the doctors refused to let me leave and they decided to keep me there even though I was firmly opposed to being hospitalized. Can I be kept in the hospital against my will? more
September
 14
My child was injured in the park This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your child is injured while playing in a municipal park. Can the municipality be held responsible? more
September
 13
Do I have to repay my social assistance payments? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a recipient of individual social assistance, can you act as a sponsor for your partner or your children so they might immigrate to Quebec? more
June
 12
I was fired following a strike This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You’ve been working in the public service for a number of years. Your union wins a strike vote and several days later, the strike begins. Your employer then fires you for having participated in an illegal strike. Are your union and your union representative responsible for your dismissal? more
June
 11
I was injured while playing golf This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
While taking part in a golf tournament you were hit in the forehead by a golf ball as you were getting ready to make your tee shot on the 11th hole. Can the golfer whose ball hit you be required to compensate you for the damages you suffered? more
May
 10
My coat is missing This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
After you have been seated at a restaurant, the waiter asks you to check your coat. At the end of the evening, your coat is missing. Can you make a claim against the restaurant for the value of your coat? more
May
 09
My vehicle has been damaged This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You leave your automobile with a garage owner for repairs. Your car is damaged while in the garage’s parking area. Is the garage owner responsible for the damages to your car? more
April
 08
My neighbour is harassing me This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your relationship with your neighbour is tense. You think that he is harassing you and overstepping his property rights. What are the limits with respect to property rights? more
April
 07
I've been badly injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You go to a snow slide and rafting centre with your children. During a run, you are badly injured. Is the sliding centre responsible? more
March
 06
My home has hidden defects This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You purchase a house. After you move in, you realize that it has major defects. Can you cancel the purchase? more
March
 05
Am I responsible for my partner's debt?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your partner dies while engaged in a contract of suretyship (endorser). As the universal legatee (heir), are you responsible for your partner’s debt? more
Febrary
 04
My child has been injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When leaving school one day, your five-year-old is injured by ice falling from the roof of a building. The building is adjacent to the only road leading to the school; the school has access to the road by virtue of a servitude granted to the School Board. Who is responsible for the damages in thi more
 
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017