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Padula V. State Farm: Ava Hillier Successfully Establishes Replacement Labour As A Reasonable Rehabilitation Expense At FSCO.

Ava Hillier was lead counsel for the applicant in Padula v. State Farm. Domenic Padula was the driver of a vehicle that was rear ended in 2007. Domenic had sustained a fracture in his neck. Domenic had always had an interest in farming. After the accident Domenic moved his family to Nova Scotia where they purchased a farm. In the post-accident period and for the first time Domenic was farming full time. At issue in the 2014 arbitration at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario were various rehabilitation benefits including payment of the general farm him for nine months of the year at the cost of $17,415. State Farm refused to pay for the general farm hand. State Farm took the position that the expense was neither rehabilitative in nature and, if reasonable, it was an expense that should be properly considered under income replacement benefits as an expense of doing business. Ava Hillier successfully argued that the farm hand expense for nine months was a reasonable rehabilitation expense because it helped manage Domenic’s pain and his reintegration into the workforce.

No prior case law exists where replacement labour was successfully established as a reasonable rehabilitation expense.