Are Data from the 2011 Census Reliable?

In this article, Dr. Bruce examines the reliability of the 2011 Census income data. In the past, completion of the long form census was mandatory. In 2011, however, completion of this form was voluntary and the response rate decreased. While this created statistical problems concerning the reliability of the data, Statistics Canada had anticipated these problems and took steps to mitigate them. In his article, Dr. Bruce discusses these problems, and the solutions implemented by Statistics Canada, concluding that the 2011 census remains a reliable, high quality data source. It will remain our primary source of earnings information until data from the 2016 census are released sometime in 2018.

With respect to the 2016 census, we would note that it will be mandatory. Further, Statistics Canada will be sending the long-form section to a greater number of households than in past censuses (one in four households instead of one in five households), and will use income data directly from the Canada Revenue Agency, providing data for 100 percent of households. It is anticipated that because of these changes, the income data from the 2016 census will be the most accurate of any census to date.

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The Dependency Rate as a Percentage of After-tax Income: Canada 2008

We examine whether or not the dependency rate increases or decreases as family income increases (or decreases). In particular, some experts have argued that the survivor’s dependency decreases as the deceased’s income increases. For example, whereas the widow of a man with low income might need, say, 80 percent of his income in order to be left in the same financial state as if he had lived, the widow of a wealthy man might need only 50 percent.

In this article, we will show that the dependency rate does not differ significantly from the lowest to the highest quintiles.

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Implied Rates of Return on Structured Settlements

In this article, Derek Aldridge and Christopher Bruce contrast our recommended discount rates with those used by one important set of sophisticated investors, the insurance companies who write structured settlements. They find that our recommended rates are greater than those being offered by these companies, suggesting that our rates may be too high.

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Millott (Estate) v. Reinhard – Reconciling “dependency” claims under FAA with “estate claims” under SAA

In this article Derek Aldridge considers one of the most interesting findings from a recent court decision. The issue concerned how to reconcile “dependency” claims under the Fatal Accidents Act with “estate claims” made under the Survival of Actions Act. In the Millott decision, it appears that if a dependant/heir’s share of the estate’s loss of income claim (under SAA) is greater than his loss of dependency on the deceased’s income (under FAA), then he is awarded the SAA amount, but he can also receive any claim for loss of services under FAA.

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The Deduction for “Expenses Related to Earning Income” in Rewcastle

In this article Christopher Bruce and Derek Aldridge discuss the court’s decision in the recent case of Rewcastle v. Sieben. The case concerned an estate claim brought under the Survival of Actions Act. In his decision, Justice Hutchinson introduced a new method for calculating the deduction for “expenses directly related to earning income.” In their article Dr. Bruce and Mr. Aldridge summarise Justice Hutchinson’s method and comment on its broader applicability.

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The Deduction of Accelerated Inheritance

In this article Chris Bruce discusses a requirement established by the Court of Appeal in its October 17, 2000 ruling in Brooks v. Stefura. This was that “accelerated inheritances” should be deducted from each plaintiff’s dependency award.

The Court did not, however, state clearly what it meant by “accelerated inheritances,” nor did it specify how those inheritances were to be calculated. In this article, Chris offers some observations that may cast some light on these issues.

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The Deduction (?) of “Accelerated Inheritance” (Scott Beesley’s view)

In this article Scott Beesley discusses a requirement established by the Court of Appeal in its October 17, 2000 ruling in Brooks v. Stefura. This was that “accelerated inheritances” should be deducted from each plaintiff’s dependency award.

The Court did not, however, state clearly what it meant by “accelerated inheritances,” nor did it specify how those inheritances were to be calculated. In this article, Scott offers some observations that may cast some light on these issues.

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Avoiding Overlap Between Fatal Accident Act and Survival of Actions Act Claims

This article points out that while the method set out by the Court of Appeal in Brooks v. Stefura does prevent double-recovery, it does not prevent double-payment, that is, the payment of the same dollar to one plaintiff under the FAA and to another under the SAA. The text of the judgment makes it clear that the Court does not wish this to occur. The article suggests a refinement of the Court’s method which would prevent such double-payments. Four detailed examples are provided.

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Estate Claims Following the Appeal Court Decisions in Duncan and Brooks

In this article Derek Aldridge, investigates a number of issues concerning the valuation of estate claims under the Survival of Actions Act. These issues arise from two recent decisions of the Court of Appeal, in Duncan v. Baddeley and Brooks v. Stefura.

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Fatal Accident Dependency Calculations

In this article Derek Aldridge examines the difference between using the sole- and cross-dependency approaches when estimating the loss of income dependency following a fatal accident. Chris Bruce wrote about this issue three years ago in the Expert Witness (Volume 1, Number 4). Derek’s article emphasises the specific differences between the calculations in the two different approaches.

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The Current Status of Survival of Actions Act Claims

In this article Christopher Bruce discusses two trial court decisions concerning the method by which claims for loss of earnings are to be calculated under the Survival of Actions Act. He argues that, although these two decisions clarify many of the outstanding issues in this area, a number of crucial problems remain unresolved.

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Issues Arising in the Calculation of Damages under the Survival of Actions Act (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a previous article by Scott Beesley concerning some issues that arise in assessing claims under the Survival of Actions Act. He now discusses the methodology of the calculation, the connection between Survival of Actions Act and the Fatal Accidents Act, and the recent decisions in Brooks v. Stefura and Duncan itself.

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Unresolved Issues in the Valuation of Estate Claims Under Survival of Actions

In this article Derek Aldridge expands upon previous articles in our newsletter which have arisen from the Duncan v. Baddeley court of appeal decision. He raises several questions concerning the calculation of losses in light of this decision, and suggests that it may not be possible to resolve these issues until it is determined whether the Court’s goal is one of compensation or deterrence.

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Implications of Duncan v. Baddeley

This article deals with the impact of the recent Alberta Appeal Court decision in Duncan v. Baddeley. Christopher Bruce discusses the implications of this decision for: fatal accident actions in which there are no dependants; the selection between the Fatal Accidents Act and the Survival of Actions Act; and the valuation of the “lost years” deduction in both fatal accident and personal injury actions.

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Calculation of the Dependency Rate in Fatal Accident Actions

In this article Christopher Bruce deals with the topical issue of alternative approaches to the calculation of the dependency rate. He argues here that determination of whether a sole dependency method, a revised dependency method, or a revised cross dependency method is appropriate will depend upon the nature of the marriage of the couple in question.

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Damage Calculations in Fatal Accident Actions After Galand

This article is Christopher Bruce’s second of two reports on the ramifications of the Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Galand Estate v. Stewart. The article in this issue considers the implications of Galand for the calculation of damages.

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