Romanko v. Nettina, 2014 ONSC 5153

Released September 8, 2014 | CanLII

The insureds, Victor Romanko and Teareasa Romanko, were Ontario residents were injured in a motor-vehicle accident while driving in New York State. The insureds brought an action in Ontario against the driver and owner of the other vehicle involved in the accident, Dennis Nettina, a resident of New York State, and the Romanko’s automobile insurer, the Co-operators General Insurance Company. The insureds also commenced an action in New York State against the driver of the other vehicle and his insurer, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company. The New York Action was commenced in order to avoid the expiry of a limitation period pending the result of a challenge to the Ontario Superior Court.

The driver of the other vehicle brought a motion for a declaration that the Ontario Superior Court did not have jurisdiction over him, arguing that there were no “presumptive connecting factors” that would permit the court to assume jurisdiction.

The insureds argued that their contract of insurance with their insurer in Ontario was a presumptive connecting factor. In the absence of a presumptive connecting factor, the insureds argued that the Ontario Superior Court should assume jurisdiction based upon the doctrine of “forum of necessity” on the basis that they would not be able to obtain relief in New York State because one of the insureds had a criminal record.

The Court concluded that the insureds’ contract of insurance with their Ontario automobile insurer was not a presumptive connecting factor and that this was not a case in which the court should assume jurisdiction based on the doctrine of forum of necessity. The doctrine of forum of necessity allows a domestic court to assume jurisdiction where there is no other forum where the plaintiff could reasonably seek relief.

The Court found that there was nothing connecting the insureds’ insurance contract to the driver of the other vehicle who was a resident of New York State, where the accident took place. The Court was not satisfied that the insureds could not seek relief in New York State.

Full decision available on CanLII

Written by

Einav practices exclusively in civil litigation. Her practice focuses on motor vehicle accident, accident benefits, occupier’s liability, slip/trip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, solicitor negligence, class action, employment and sexual assault claims.

During her free time, Einav takes improv and Spanish lessons. She enjoys being active, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.