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Ontario Superior Court to determine Ottawa woman's entitlement to survivor's benefit


May 29, 2023

Toronto's Superior Court of Justice Courthouse

The Ontario Superior Court will determine an Ottawa woman’s entitlement to a significant spousal survivor’s benefit after a judge declined to send the matter to OMERS’ internal dispute resolution process.

The applicant filed an application in the Ontario Superior Court seeking a declaration that she was the spouse of an OMERS plan member who died in 2021. The estate of the former plan member filed a motion to dismiss the application, arguing that the OMERS internal dispute resolution process was a more appropriate forum for determination of this issue, because it would result in a speedier, less expensive determination by a body with subject matter expertise.

Acknowledging that either option would be an “appropriate and efficacious” avenue to settle the dispute, the judge ruled that the matter could proceed in the Superior Court. The judge concluded that in instances where more than one forum could appropriately determine the issue, the applicant’s choice should be given serious weight. In addition, he wrote that the factual complexity of the matter, the large amount of the benefit at stake and the greater degree of flexibility surrounding settlement options all weighed in favour of continuing in court.

Click on more information below to read the decision:

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