2021-02-02

Benoît Chartier is a founding partner of the firm. His professional experience over the last 20+ years has mainly focused on representing insurance companies and defending their insured with respect to all kinds of liability actions. Acting mainly as defense lawyer, his areas of practice include general litigation, general and professional liability, bodily injury claims, liability of cities and municipalities, construction law and product liability cases.

Moreover, he has also specialized in matters involving sports and leisure liability. He represents most of the ski resorts in the Province of Quebec with respect to ski accident cases and other sports related accidents.

Representative matters

The following cases summaries he pleaded are a good example of his broad litigation experience:

Sports liability

Successfully defended the operator of a ski resort against a lawsuit brought by a client who sustained injuries as a result of a fall which occurred before getting on a chairlift. The Court concluded that the resort was not negligent, in light of the inherent risks associated with the use of chairlifts, and since it proved that its equipment was properly maintained and operated and it’s staff properly trained and experienced (Lebrun v. Corporation Ski & Golf Mont Orford 2020 QCCQ 7355).

Successfully defended the operator of a ski resort against a claim by a skier who was thrown in the air after passing on a pile of firm snow. The Court ruled that the operator had not been negligent in the maintenance of the slopes and that the accident was a normal risk of skiing (Massé v. Sommets de la vallée inc., 2018 QCCS 1373).

Successfully defended the Vallée du Parc de Shawinigan ski resort against a lawsuit brought by a lady who sustained a fall when getting off a chairlift during an autumn visit. The Court concluded that the resort had not been negligent, in light of the risk inherent in the use of a chairlift, and since it proved that its equipment was properly maintained and operated (Lessard v. Vallée du Parc de Shawinigan inc., 2017 QCCQ 14306).

Successfully defended Station Mont-Tremblant against a claim by a skier severely injured after falling into a hole. Evidence revealed that the hole was out of the ski trail, and marked with bamboo poles. The Court ruled that the ski resort had taken reasonable care to avoid the accident by using sufficient and adequate markings (Gauthier v. Station Mont-Tremblant, 2017 QCCS 2248).

Successfully defended Mont Saint-Sauveur in a serious bodily injury lawsuit brought following the plaintiff’s collision with an unpadded wood post on the side of a ski slope (Corbeil v. Mont St-Sauveur International, 2013 QCCS 1561).

Successfully defended Ski Bromont in a lawsuit filed by a party having sustained bodily injures in a water slide accident (Larose Boyer v. Ski Bromont.com, s.e.c., 2011 QCCQ 11211).

Successfully defended Mont Avalanche against a claim filed as a result of bodily injury sustained in a ski lift unloading accident (Barrette v. Station de sports Mont Avalanche, 2010 QCCQ 1787).

Professional liability/E&O

Successfully defended and represented engineers, architects, building inspectors and other professionals in numerous cases, including in the following matter:

Successfully defended an engineering firm against a professional liability claim which was filed following a pre-purchase inspection of a commercial building. The plaintiff alleged that our client, Sogevem, had not discovered and reported major deficiencies of the property. The suit was dismissed based on evidence showing that the inspection was performed accordingly and also, based on the lack of “lien de droit” (ASL (Lavolière) Limited Partnership v. Raymond Vallières, Jacques Vallières and Sogevem Associés Experts-Conseils Ltée, 705-17-003154-091, Superior Court, November 14, 2014).

Municipal law / Municipal liability

Successfully defended cities and municipalities in the following matters:

Dubuc v. Victoriaville (Ville de), 2010 QCCS 4758 — Trip and fall accident.

Rôtisserie Ste-Thérèse inc. v. Ste-Thérèse (Ville), 2005 CanLII 47913 (QC CQ) — Business interruption claim for interruption of water supply.

Entreprises Michel Duchesneau v. Grondin, 2004 CanLII 35354 (QC CQ) — Wrongly issued construction permit.

Burton v. Greenfield Park (Ville de), 2002 CanLII 17997 (QC CQ) — Slip and fall accident.

Boire c. Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel (Municipalité), 2002 CanLII 37423 (QC CQ) — Slip and fall accident.

Insurance coverage defense

Successfully represented numerous insurers in denying coverage to the insured in the following matters:

Successfully pleaded a motion to dismiss the action filed in a construction matter based on the argument that Lloyd’s Underwriters had no duty to defend the claim in view of the “Asbestos Exclusion Clause” contained in the Liability Policy (Institution Royale pour l’avancement des sciences c. Construction Expert RC inc., 2011 QCCS 3973.

Successfully acted on behalf of Elite Insurance Company in a matter in which Elite had denied a property claim and declared an insurance policy to be void ab initio. Based on the representations and evidence presented during the trial, the Court concluded that Elite Insurance Company successfully demonstrated that the Plaintiff provided erroneous information to his insurer (Racine c. Trudeau & Trudeau ltée, 2009 QCCQ 17428.

Successfully defended Lombard Canada, which had denied coverage to its insured Corporation municipale de Sutton based on the fact that Sutton did not report the claim during the policy period or the extended reporting period under a “claims-made policy” (Blanchette c. Sutton (Corporation municipale de), 2007 QCCS 1413.

Product liability

Represented many manufacturers of a large variety of products, including firearms, sports and leisure equipment, motor vehicles, mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment, food and beverages

Successfully defended Weston in a bodily and moral injury claim arising out of an alleged defective and “dangerous” loaf of bread (Mallette c. Boulangerie Weston Québec Ltée, 2005 CanLII 28610 (QC CQ).

Subrogation claims

Frequently represents insurers in subrogation claims and recently represented numerous insurers that sustained major losses as a result of an important fire which occurred in Montréal, that caused damages to many neighboring buildings; he recovered millions of dollars for his clients from the liable parties.

Successfully represented Aviva Insurance Company to contest a motion to dismiss Aviva’s action filed by the defendant and successfully argued that, in this case, the insurance provision contained in the commercial lease did not prevent the insurer from suing the tenant since the commercial lease also contained an indemnification provision (Aviva, compagnie d’assurances du Canada v. Groupe Jean Coutu (PJC) inc., 2012 QCCS 4335.

Successfully acted on behalf of ING Insurance Company against a cheese producer to recover the compensation paid out by ING following an important business loss sustained by its insured and caused by a listeria contamination during the cheese-making process (ING compagnie d’assurances du Canada v. Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser inc., 2012 QCCS 6068.

Other representative matters

Successfully pleaded the following matters:

Desjardins v. Placements Rockhill ltée, 2006 QCCQ 16234 — Liability of a security company/Liability of the landlord.

Cajou v. Zellers inc., 2005 CanLII 26625 (QC CQ) — Liability of security agents.

Monit Properties Inc. v. Services d’immigration Prisma Ltée, 2005 CanLII 28241 (QC CQ) — Litigation between tenant and landlord.

Bell Canada v. Vidéotron Télécom Ltée, 2005 CanLII 1531 (QC CQ) — Liability following excavation work.

Bell Canada v. Excavation Daniel Latour inc., 2004 CanLII 29925 (QC CQ) — Liability following excavation work.

Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. of Canada v. Manac inc./Nortex, 2003 CanLII 932 (QC CS) – Subrogation claim/fire loss/product liability/professional liability of engineers and architects.

Counsels and associations

Member of the American Association of Ski Defense attorneys (ASDA)

Accredited Speaker and Lecturer for the Quebec Insurance Institute and the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages du Québec

Associate member of the Quebec Risk and Insurance Management Association (AGRAQ)

Honors

Best Lawyers in Canada: rated for Insurance Law since 2019

Publications

2018 – Chartier, Benoît, « Légalisation du cannabis et droit des assurances », dans Barreau du Québec, Service de la formation continue, Développements récents en droit des assurances (2018), vol 451, Montréal (QC), Y. Blais, 2018, 37.

2016 – Chartier, Benoît, « Cyber-risques et cyber-responsabilité dans l’industrie des assurances », dans Barreau du Québec, Service de la formation continue, Développements récents en droit des assurances (2016), vol 423, Cowansville (QC), Y. Blais, 2016, 1.

Conferences and presentations

A sought-after speaker, Benoît is frequently invited to deliver presentations and, many of which are accredited or recognized by the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (ChAD) or the Quebec Bar Association. Here are some of the lectures presented by Benoît recently:

“Legal Impact of the Legalization of Cannabis and Edible By-products on the Insurance Industry in Quebec”, training conference at the Montréal office of the insurance brokerage firm Marsh, November 2019 (ChAD)

“Legalization of Cannabis and Insurance Law”, conference on the impact of the legalization of the recreational use of cannabis on product liability, civil liability and, thereby, on home and auto insurance, presented in May 2019 to Quebec’s Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (ChAD), and accredited as a continuing education activity

“Legal Impact of the Legalization of Cannabis on the Insurance Industry in Quebec”, lecture for the Canadian Insurance Claims Managers Association, October 2018

“Legalization of Cannabis and Insurance Law”, lecture given in June 2018 at the annual legal seminar organized by another insurance law firm for the insurance industry (ChAD / Barreau / Chambre des notaires)

“Cyber Liability and Cyber Risks in the insurance industry”, lecture given in June 2016 at the annual legal seminar organized by another insurance law firm for the insurance industry (ChAD / Barreau / Chambre des notaires)

Lecturer, private training session for a major Canadian insurer on “Assessment of Bodily Injury Claims”, April 2016 (ChAD)

“Natural disasters and insurance law”, training session for the Quebec Insurance Institute, April 2015

Lecturer, private training session for a major Quebec insurer on “Social Medias and Cyber Liability”, March 2015 (ChAD)

Speaker for Mont Tremblant Ski Resort to their ski/snowboard instructors on “Legal Consequences of Ski Teaching in Quebec”, November 2014

Lecturer, private training session for a major Quebec insurer on “Social Medias, Cyber Liability and Insurance Law”, September 2014  (ChAD / Barreau)

Speaker, “Social Medias and Human Resources”, Annual Quebec Ski Resorts Association Conference, June 2014

Speaker, “Social Medias, Cyber Liability and Insurance Law”, Continued education training for the Quebec Insurance Institute, November 26–28, 2013 (ChAD / Barreau)

Speaker, “Ski lessons and Consumer Protection Act”, Annual Quebec Ski Resorts Association Conference, May 2013

Speaker, “Social Medias and Claims Investigation”, at the annual legal seminar organized by another insurance law firm for the insurance industry, June 2012 (ChAD / Barreau)

Speaker, “Legal Challenges and Risk Management for Ski Resorts in Eastern Canada”, Annual Quebec Ski Resorts Association Conference, May 2012

Speaker, “Parents/legal guardian and torts”, at the annual legal seminar organized by another insurance law firm for the insurance industry, June 2011 (ChAD / Barreau)

Speaker, “Sports liability in the Province of Quebec”, at the annual legal seminar organized by another insurance law firm for the insurance industry, June 2010 (ChAD / Barreau)

Co-Speaker, “Product liability Insurance”, Continued Education Training for the Quebec Insurance Institute, March 2010 (ChAD / Barreau)