Osler represents Manulife in a proposed class action commenced in British Columbia by two representative plaintiffs – Francoise Leonard and Leanne Ranniger. The action relates to the distribution of mortgage insurance products by Manulife’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Benesure Canada Inc. (“Benesure”). It is alleged that Benesure was not properly licensed to undertake the business of an insurance company or an insurance agent and that it offered certain insurance products at grossly inflated prices. As against Manulife and Benesure, the plaintiffs allege, inter alia, that these defendants implemented a scheme – referred in the claim as “Safety Catch” – to improperly solicit customers. It is also alleged that the defendants violated the privacy of the proposed class by unlawfully obtaining their private information. On March 30, 2016, the court dismissed certification of the action on all grounds. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision, but the appeal has yet to be scheduled. Parallel class actions were commenced in Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP represents Manulife with a team consisting of Larry Lowenstein, Shawn Irving, Sylvain Lussier, Eric Préfontaine, and Eric Morgan (Litigation).