Professional Background

Avon Mersey has over 40 years’ experience in civil litigation. His main areas of focus are insurance defence and product liability. Avon has a wealth of experience in defending product liability claims, claims for disability and life carriers, aviation insurers, motor vehicle carriers, C.G.L. carriers, fire and property carriers, excess carriers and environment risk carriers as well as asbestos litigation. He has also represented clients on a variety of insurance related matters including coverage.

Avon has an appellate practice and has argued coverage, liability, and conflict of law test cases before the British Columbia Supreme Court, British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Avon has been appointed arbitrator and mediator in numerous cases at the request of litigants.

 

Education

  • LLM, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1973
  • LLB, Dalhousie University, 1972
  • B Comm, Dalhousie University, 1969

Rankings + Recognitions

  • Ranked in the areas of Aviation and Transportation law by Best Lawyers® in Canada from 20012 – 2019, and is a fellow of the International Society of Barristers.
  • Avon is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been named as a Benchmark Litigation Star in 2017 by Benchmark Canada.
  • Recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Star 2018 –Insurance and Product Liability.
  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Aviation in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Appointed Queens Counsel 2012.

Memberships

  • Member, International Society of Barristers*
  • Litigation, Aviation & Insurance Sections, Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch)
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
  • Defense Research Institute (USA)

*Membership in the International Society of Barristers is extended to advocates of exceptional talent whose qualities, including integrity, honor and collegiality, embody the true spirit of the true professional.

  • Nagra v Cruz (May 25, 2017), Vancouver CA44249 (BCCA)
  • Koltai v. Wang, 2017 BCCA 152
  • Paur v. Providence Health Care, 2017 BCCA 161
  • Mullens v. Toor, 2017 BCCA 384
  • Thompson v. Helgeson, 2017 BCSC 927
  • Nagra v. Cruz, 2017 BCSC 347
  • Nagra v. Cruz, 2016 BCSC 2469
  • Ngo v. Luong, 2014 BCSC 516 – Successful counsel for the Defendant, Lien Anh Ngo. This conflicts of law case deals with which law to apply.
  • Hogstead v. Spiers, 2013 BCCA 524 – Successful counsel for the Respondent in the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
  • Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Catalano, 2012 BCSC 1840 – Counsel to the Plaintiff, Sun Life, in a joint summary trial and full day motion.
  • Brennand v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2012 BCSC 972 – Counsel to the Defendant, Sun Life, in a disability trial.
  • Brennand v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2011 BCSC 759 – Counsel to the Defendants, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and Telus Communications, a Division of Telus Communications Inc, and Telus Communications (BC) Inc.
  • Mazur v. Lucas, 2010 BCCA 473 – Counsel for the Appellant
  • Steele v. Toyota Canada Inc., [2008] B.C.J. 1496, 2008 BCSC 1063 – Counsel to Toyota Canada Inc. and 33 Toyota dealers in British Columbia
  • British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. v. Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board, 2008 BCCA 40
  • British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. v. Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board, 2007 BCSC 1434
  • Johnny v. ICBC, 2007 BCCA 43  – Counsel to Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Fidler [2006] S.C.J. No. 30, [2006] 8 W.W.R. 1 (S.C.C.) – Counsel to Sun Life Assurance Co.
  • Ennis v. Allenby, [2007] BCCA 80 – Successfully represented insurer and insurer’s defence counsel in a case alleging defence counsel misconduct in a jury trial.
  • Ennis v. Allenby, 2006 BCCA 213  – Acted for the Appellant in a successful leave to appeal.
  • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia v. Pohl’s Bakery & Pastry, 2006 BCCA 51 – Counsel for the Respondent
  • Roussin v. Bouzenad, [2005] B.C.J. No. 2682, 2005 BCSC 1719 (unreported) Roussin v. Bouzenad, 2005 BCSC 1719 (CanLII)
  • Castillo v. Castillo [2005] 3 S.C.R. 870 (S.C.C) – Counsel for the respondent Antonio Munoz Castillo
  • Sabourin Estate v. Watterodt Estate [2005] – Counsel for the Appellants Darcey Renee Watterodt and others
  • Johnny v. Palmantier et al, 2005 BCSC 799 – Counsel to Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Rowe v. Bobell [2005] BCCA 141 – Counsel for the appellants, Bobell Express Ltd., Greater Vancouver Regional District, Devin Brent Taylor and Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in Rowe v. Bobell [2005] BCCA 141  
  • Peters v. Kay, [2004] B.C.S.C. 1160 (unreported)http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2004/2004bcsc1160/2004bcsc1160.html  
  • Fidler v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, [2004] 239 D.L.R. (4th) 547 (B.C.C.A.) (leave to appeal to the S.C.C. granted January 20, 2005) de Araujo v. Read, [2004] S.C.C.A. No. 346 (leave to appeal to S.C.C. denied)
  • Gurniak v. Nordquist, [2003] 2 S.C.R. 652, 2003 SCC 59 – Counsel to Edward J. Nordquist and Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd.
  • Supreme Court of Canada rules that execution of a Power of Attorney does not subject insurers to the laws of a jurisdiction with no connection to the accident – Lead counsel for Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Unifund Assurance Co. v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia [2003] 2 S.C.R. 63, 2003 SCC 40 – Counsel to the Appellant
  • Reilly v. Lynn, [2003] B.C.J. No. 133 (S.C.C.)
  • Love v. Pai, [2003] B.C.J. No. 1397 (S.C.)
  • Wright v. Sealnes (The), [2002] B.C.J. No. 645 (S.C.) – Counsel to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  • Webber v. Canadian Aviation Insurance Managers Ltd., [2002] B.C.J. No. 2270 (S.C.) – Counsel to the Canadian Aviation Insurance Managers Ltd.Lacroix v. Bortolin, [2002] B.C.J. No. 212 (S.C.)
  • Netupsky v. Assn. Of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, [2001] B.C.J. No. 1443 (S.C.)
  • Gurniak (Guardian ad litem of) v. Nordquist and Domo Gasoline, (2001), 93 B.C.L.R. (3d) 199, 156 B.C.A.C. 149 (B.C.C.A.)
  • Axa Pacific Insurance Co. v. Elwood, [2000] B.C.J. No. 1738 (S.C.)
  • Diotte (Guardian ad litem of) v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [2000] B.C.J. No. 2476 (S.C.)
  • Thompson v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [2000] B.C.J. No. 78 (S.C.)
  • McIsaac v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [1999] B.C.J. No 1120 (S.C.C.)
  • Wong et al v. Wei, [1999] B.C.J. No. 768 (S.C.)
  • Knox v. Eastman, [1999] B.C.J. No. 586 (S.C.)
  • Mathers v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [1999] B.C.J. No. 1023 (S.C.C.)
  • Banks v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [1999] B.C.J. No. 1771 (S.C.)
  • Coles v. Spriggs, [1998] B.C.J. No. 2753 (C.A.)
  • Green v. Wilson, [1998] B.C.J. No. 67 (S.C.)
  • Park v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1998] B.C.J. No. 2638 (S.C.)
  • Bakker v. Van Adrichem, [1997] B.C.J. No. 637 (C.A.)
  • Leighton v. Simpson, [1997] B.C.J. No. 386 (C.A.)
  • Gurniak v. Nordquist (1997), 34 B.C.L.R. (3d) 206 (B.C.S.C.)
  • Grant v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [1997] B.C.J. No. 1492 (S.C.)
  • Counsel to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
  • Yoshikawa v. Yu, [1996] B.C.J. No 623 (C.A.)
  • Amos v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 405 (S.C.C.)
  • Galaske v. O’Donnell, [1994] 1 S.C.R 670 (S.C.C.)
  • Tolofson v. Jensen, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 1022 (S.C.C.)
  • Wong v. Taylor, [1994] B.C.J. No. 1517 (S.C.)
  • Counsel to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Simcoe & Erie General Insurance Co. v. Kansa General Insurance Co., [1994] B.C.J. No. 1442 (S.C.C.)
  • Court v. Alberta Motor Assn. Insurance Co., [1994] B.C.J. No. 948 (S.C.)
  • Hunt v. T&N plc, [1993] 4 S.C.R. 289 (S.C.C.)
  • Duncan v. Aldis, [1993] B.C.J. No. 260 (C.A.)
  • Hayre v. Walz, [1992] B.C.J. No. 985 (C.A.)
  • Dorsey v. Austrian Chalet Ltd., [1992] B.C.J. No. 1766 (S.C.)
  • Cloutier v. Wong, [1992] B.C.J. No. 2940 (S.C.)
  • Thorpe v. College of Pharmacists of British Columbia, [1992] B.C.J. No. 2166 (C.A.)
  • Chung Estate v. King, [1992] B.C.J. No. 1830 (S.C.)
  • Canadian Pacific Forest Products Ltd. v. Gold River Newsprint, [1992] B.C.J. No. 1970 (S.C.)
  • Primrose v. Arrow Transportation Inc., [1991] B.C. J. No. 3022 (S.C.)
  • Mung v. Zellinski, [1991] B.C.J. No. 4066 (C.A.)
  • MacDonald (Guardian ad litem of) v. Peek-Philpott, [1991] B.C.J. No. 928 (S.C.)
  • Jang v. Jang (1991), 54 B.C.L.R. (2d) 121 (C.A.)
  • Whatley v. Badshah, [1991] B.C.J. No. 3497 (S.C.) – Counsel to Badshah
  • Foster v. 1075 West Georgia Ltd., [1991] B.C.J. No. 2419 (S.C.)
  • Etter v. Trent, [1991] B.C.J. No. 237 (C.A.)
  • Seymour v. Guptell, [1990] B.C.J. No. 1278 (S.C.)
  • Hutchison v. Betts, [1990] B.C.J. No. 782 (S.C.)
  • Prenor Trust Co. of Canada v. Montreal Trust Co., [1990] B.C.J. No. 2781 (S.C.)
  • Bugden v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, [1990] B.C.J. No 2936 (S.C.)
  • Brar (Guardian ad litem of) v. Hall, [1990] B.C.J. No. 2505 (S.C.)
  • Scarff (Next friend of) v. Wilson, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 776 (S.C.C.)
  • Mantelli v. Johnston Terminals Ltd., [1989] B.C.J. No. 1047 (C.A.)
  • Jackson v. Anderson, [1989] B.C.J. No. 852 (S.C.)
  • Czarnuch v. Devon Transport Ltd., [1989] B.C.J. No. 230 (C.A.)
  • Mochinski v. Spalding, [1988] B.C.J. No. 1267 (S.C.)
  • Kalke v. Kalke, [1988] B.C.J. No. 2577 (C.A.)
  • Cope v. Taylor, [1988] B.C.J. No. 2118 (S.C.)
  • Fraser v. Kelowna Motorcycle Club, [1988] B.C.J. No. 343 (S.C.)
  • Gilmore v. Richmond School District No. 38, [1988] B.C.J. No. 2604 (S.C.)
  • Yorkshire Trust Co. v. Laurentian Pacific Insurance Co., [1987] B.C.J. No. 4 (S.C.)
  • Millar v. Emerson, [1987] B.C.J. No. 791 (S.C.)
  • Favelle v. Favelle, [1987] B.C.J. No. 330 (S.C.)
  • Sinn v. Arena Developments Ltd., [1986] B.C.J. No. 2252 (S.C.)
  • Woodchuck Manufacturing Ltd. v. Georgia Pacific Corp., [1986] B.C.J. No. 1628 (S.C.)
  • Kartsonas v. Brownrigg, [1986] B.C.J. No. 1815 (S.C.)
  • Jarrett v. Campbell, [1986] B.C.J. No. 1595 (S.C.)
  • Tolman v. Gearmatic Co., [1986] B.C.J. No. 481 (C.A.)
  • Juric-Orlic v. Adam, [1985] B.C.J. No. 2318 (C.A.)
  • Sayle v. Kansa Insurance Co., [1985] B.C.J. No. 2574 (C.A.)
  • Tuschek v. Buxmann, [1985] B.C.J. No. 1 (S.C.)
  • Morguard Bank of Canada v. Eagle Management Services Ltd., [1985] B.C.J. No. 723 (S.C.)
  • Goldberg v. Western Approaches Ltd., [1985] B.C.J. No. 937 (S.C.)
  • Gulbranson v. Gulbranson, [1985] B.C.J. No. 359 (S.C.)
  • Beckwith v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1985] B.C.J. No. 772 (S.C.)
  • Bangle Estate v. D.W. Coates Enterprises Ltd., [1985] B.C.J. No. 8 (C.A.)
  • Pybus v. Houston Shoe In Ltd., [1985] B.C.J. No. 1068 (S.C.)
  • Syncrude Canada Ltd. v. Hunter Engineering Co., [1984] W.W.R. 231 (B.C.S.C.)
  • North Canadian Trust Co. v. Prochaska, [1983] B.C.J. No. 2325 (C.A.)
  • Antunes v. Lance’s Auto Service Ltd., [1983] B.C.J. No. 1430 (S.C.)
  • Harrison v. Harrison, [1982] B.C.J. No. 188 (S.C.)
  • Lakhani (Guardian ad litem of) v. Samson, [1982] B.C.J. No. 397 (S.C.)
  • Fuller v. Fuller, [1982] B.C.J. No. 1627 (S.C.)
  • Fergusson v. Harrison, [1981] B.C.J. No. 1291 (S.C.)
  • Bank of Montreal v. Pioneer Meat Packers Ltd., [1981] B.C.J. No. 1639 (C.A.)
  • Tanu v. Ray, [1981] B.C.J. No. 86 (S.C.)
  • Lafaille v. Lafaille, [1980] B.C.J. No. 1521 (S.C.)
  • Reed v. Wright, [1980] B.C.J. No. 580 (S.C.)
  • R. v. Abramson, [1980] B.C.J. No. 658 (C.A.)
  • Damberger v. Damberger, [1980] B.C.J. No. 855 (S.C.)
  • Hutt v. Hutchinson, [1980] B.C.J. No. 418 (S.C.)
  • British Columbia (Provincial Agricultural Land Commission) v. Pickell, [1980] B.C.J. No. 145 (S.C.)
  • Nash v. Dick Munn Pro Shop Ltd., [1979] B.C.J. No. 699 (S.C.)
  • Highfield Holdings (B.C.) Ltd. v. Canaveral Investments Ltd., [1979] B.C.J. No. 510 (S.C.)
  • Vancouver Fire Prevention Service Co. v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, [1978] B.C.J. No. 48 (S.C.)
  • Blackburn v. Blackburn, [1977] B.C.J. No. 16 (S.C.)

Publications

  • Kennedy V. Coe: a Look at an Unconventional Defendant”, December 1, 2014
  • “Chapter 10 – ”Defences”, B.C. Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Practice Manual”, Author, Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., July 1, 2006
  • “Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Application of Limitation Laws of Place of the Accident”, Co-Author, Insurance Law, Vol. IX, No. 2 (2005), July 1, 2005
  • “ICBC v. Unifund – Limitations on the Extraterritorial Application of Provincial Legislation”, Co- Author, Insurance Law, Vol. VIII, No. 2, July 1, 2003
  • “Extending Limitation Periods after Tolofson”, Author, Insurance Law, Vol. III, No. 2, February 2, 2002
  • Proof of Disability: Objective or Subjective Evidence?”, Co-Author, Insurance Law, Vol. IV, No. 3, October 1, 2000
  • “Conflict of Laws in Canada – A Change in Direction”, Co-Author, Insurance Law, Vol. II, No. 1, November 1, 1995
  • “Supreme Court Reviews Test for Determining Tort Choice of Law”, Insurance Law Journal, July 7, 1995

Presentations

  • Clients and Risk First, Insurance Seminar, October 23, 2012
  • Defending Personal Injury – Cost of Care at Trial, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, February 24, 2012
  • Medical and Legal Issues in Brain Injury: Cost of Care, Trial Lawyers Association Seminar, April 1-2, 2011
  • The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – Let the Seller Beware!, Insurance and Product Liability Group Seminar (Fasken Martineau Institute), September 29, 2010
  • 3rd Annual Disability Claims Management and Litigation: Handling Non-Visible Disability Claims, Insight Seminar, April 26-27, 2010
  • Emerging Trends in Canadian Law, Seminar at Lloyds of London, June 25, 2008
  • Follow the Money: Damages in Product Liability and Insurance Lawsuits – Recent Developments, Fasken Martineau Seminar, November 21, 2006
  • Mitigating Disability and Auto Insurance Claims Seminar, Insight Information Co., April, September 2005
  • Reigning Victorious: Product Liability Class Actions – Law and Strategies for Successful Defence, Fasken Martineau Product Liability Class Actions Seminar, May 25, 2005
  • Punitive and Aggravated Damages Seminar, The Canadian Institute, November 2004
  • Litigating and Defending against Personal Injury and Disability Claims Seminar, Insight Information Co., April 2004
  • Experts – From Retainer to Trial Seminar, Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., December 2003
  • Injurisdictional Issues, Part 7 Benefits, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, March 2003
  • Recent Developments in the Conflict of Laws – Torts, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, February 2003
  • 2002 Western Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims Seminar, Insight Information Co, October 2002
  • Canadian Conflict of Laws – A Change in Direction, International Pacific Bar Association, 2000