Insurers’ Exposure from Opioid Claims: Time on Risk Approach Reaffirmed Over All Sums

Insurers’ Exposure from Opioid Claims: Time on Risk Approach Reaffirmed Over All Sums

  • April 3rd, 2024
  • Jashandeep Sandhu
  • Comments Off on Insurers’ Exposure from Opioid Claims: Time on Risk Approach Reaffirmed Over All Sums

The recent major Ontario Court of Appeal decision Loblaw Companies Limited v. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, 2024 ONCA 145 (CanLII) was precipitated by five class action lawsuits (“Class Actions”) claiming billions of dollars against companies involved in the opioid industry. The defence costs are expected to be very significant. The question who pays these costs and how was a central issue.

The claims span over 20 years beginning in 1996 when the pharmaceutical company, Purdue, started selling the opioid, OxyContin. 

The Class Actions were brought by the Government of British Columbia and from opioid user groups from several provinces. The claims were brought against the opioid producers, pharmaceutical companies and distributors of the products including the national grocery chain Loblaw and the national drug store Shoppers Drug Mart, and a company called Sanis, which manufactured two generic opioids (“the Insureds” or “the respondents”) 

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