Canadians are not as litigious as the Americans but the gap is narrowing. Anyone can sue someone for something. Insurance and Risk management is necessary.
When a statement of claim is presented the courts decide if it has any merit. If does not it is thrown out. When this happens, the costs can still substantial.
Being presented with a statement of claim does impact to your business. The physical property damaged has a price tag, legal counsel, court costs, out of court settlement to end the suit, time to collect evidence and documents, find witnesses, review written correspondence, develop defence strategies, attend hearings and to appear in court. Your time costs money, what about reputation costs and what about the stress?
Court awards are also on the rise. One statistic suggests in the last 20 years injury awards have doubled. Numerous court settlements are in the range of $10 to $13 Million.
Another exposure that few are aware of is that if one defendant is unable to pay the shares of damages allotted to them, the other defendant(s) are responsible for the entire loss.
A good risk management program starts with protecting the physical assets and also takes steps to prevent injury to others. These include statutory compliance, lawful conduct, fulfilling contractual obligations and conducting business in a prudent manner. Procedures must be written and followed consistently across the organization.
Litigation is expensive; for every legal action that is prevented or dismissed, capital is retained by the organization.
Be sure to seek advice and purchase insurance from those who understand your business!