Abdul was running late for work when he was pulled over and ticketed for making an unsafe left turn. The charge would cost him $110 and two demerit points, as well as affecting his vehicle insurance premium.
Abdul believed that he had made an honest mistake and that the ticket was unfair. He called DAS, and we sent a lawyer to defend him in traffic court. The charge was completely withdrawn, and Abdul’s DAS Personal policy saved him $750 in legal fees, plus the cost of the ticket and increased insurance premium.
Jeremy, a DAS policyholder, had a dispute with an airline. Although he had checked in before the cut-off time on his ticket, the attendant told Jeremy he was too late. As a result, he was assigned an economy seat, even though he had paid for business class. He tried to get a refund, but the airline refused.
A DAS Claims Adjuster contacted the airline and Jeremy was quickly able to secure him a refund of $1,500 for the difference between economy and business class, as well as a discount on his next flight with the airline.
Mary, who had been working with an organization in various roles for over 20 years, was dismissed a few months before her retirement date - just as she was due for a pay increase. Unsure what to do, she called DAS.
We appointed a lawyer who sought to negotiate directly with Mary's former employer. We then issued a claim in the Human Rights Tribunal, indicating that her age was a factor in the decision to dismiss her. Mary was awarded 24 months of pension contributions, plus interest, at the rate she would have received following the scheduled pay increase. Mary was also awarded $5,000 in compensation as recognition that her age was a factor in her dismissal. Without a DAS policy, the legal costs for Mary would have been close to $10,000.
Brenda had been an employee of a financial services company for over 10 years. When the company was bought out by another company, a lot of staff were dismissed, including Brenda. Her contract contained a clause making it impossible for her to work in the same industry and province for the next 3 years. On top of this, she was only offered the statutory minimum.
Unsure of what to do, Brenda called DAS. It only took a couple of months for the appointed lawyer to get Brenda double the severance, as well as a cancellation of the post termination restrictions. Not only did it allow her to start applying for other jobs in the province she lived in right away, Brenda also saved $3,500 in legal fees.
Jenn purchased a vacation to a 5 star resort in the Caribbean through a travel agent, and was looking forward to a week in paradise. Upon arrival, she found that the resort was not at all as advertised. To her surprise, not only was the hotel a 2 star facility, it was also infested with insects.
As the bugs had invaded the entire hotel, Jenn called the travel agent for help. She was told that cancelling the holiday was not an option and had to stay for the full 7 days. By the end of the week, she was covered in bites and sleep deprived, having only managed to sleep a few hours each day.
The holiday created a great deal of anxiety for Jenn, and cost her a lot of money. The bug infestation was so severe she had to leave her luggage and belongings behind. When all attempts to recover any expense through the travel agency failed, Jenn turned to her DAS policy for help.
As it was the first time she was using her DAS policy, Jenn wasn’t sure what to expect. She braced herself, anticipating never ending meetings and huge amounts of paperwork. To her delight, none of her concerns materialized. The DAS team handled everything, only asking Jenn to provide receipts, dates and contact information. Three weeks later, the assigned lawyer was able to recover 67% of Jenn’s expenses. She also saved $1,500 in legal fees.
As Tessa was driving out of her building’s underground parking garage, she collided with a piece of metal that was hanging from the garage door. As a result, her windshield needed to be replaced at a cost of $1100.
Tessa believed that building management should reimburse her for the cost of the repairs, as their failure to properly maintain the garage door had caused the damages. Building management told Tessa that they would not assume responsibility for the damages or reimburse the cost of the repairs to the windshield.
Tessa called DAS and a claim was opened. The case was assigned to a lawyer, who sent a demand letter to the property manager. Within a week, a cheque was delivered to Tessa’s condo for the full amount of the damages. Without a DAS Personal policy, the case would have cost Tessa approximately $800 in legal fees.
Reduction in work hours
Melinda had worked for her employer for over four years, when her hours were suddenly cut in half. Being a busy mother of three, she could not afford to stay at her job for the number of hours now being offered to her. Her employer would not address her concerns or offer a severance package.
Unsure what to do, Melinda called DAS and a claim was opened. We instructed a lawyer who contacted Melinda’s employer to advise that the situation would be considered a constructive dismissal, and that legal proceedings would commence if the company failed to offer an adequate severance package. The employer relented and a suitable severance package was negotiated for Melinda. Her DAS Personal policy saved Melinda approximately $1900 in legal fees.
Tom was dismissed from a senior position with his employer after three years of service. He was offered $40,000 in severance pay, despite a clause in his executive employment contract which guaranteed a higher amount.
Tom was sure he was entitled to more from his employer, but his concerns were not acknowledged by the company. He called DAS and his assigned lawyer negotiated an increase in severance pay to $390,000. Without a DAS Personal policy, the case would have cost Tom approximately $15,000 in legal fees.
Employment dispute following sick leave
Jacintha returned to her job following a period of ill health, and was informed that her hours had been reduced significantly as there was no longer a business need for her to work full time. Jacintha was unsure what to do as she could not afford to work a lower number of hours, and she worried she would not be able to find another full time job right away.
She called DAS and a lawyer was assigned to the case. The lawyer contacted Jacintha’s employer to tell them that the alteration in the employment contract constituted a dismissal, and the employer agreed to reoffer Jacintha her full time hours. However, the ordeal caused Jacintha to see her employer in a negative light, and she decided that she did not want to return to the company. DAS negotiated a severance package which included a positive employment reference, five weeks severance pay, and outstanding vacation. Jacintha also saved $2,800 in legal fees.
Dispute with a realtor
When Yousef decided to purchase his first home, he entered into an agreement with an agent who was to find him a house in exchange for commission on the sale.
Yousef was on a tight time limit as he needed to vacate his rental property before a certain date. He made this clear to the agent before signing the contract, but the agent disappeared for several months and did not contact Yousef. Yousef was frustrated and stressed because he knew he needed to find a house before the end of his rental agreement. He decided to find a new agent, and this agent was successful in finding a house for Yousef to purchase.
Following the sale, the original agent contacted Yousef and informed him that their contract guaranteed that agent exclusive rights to the commission on any home Yousef would purchase. The agent sent a demand letter for $17,000 in commission, and issued proceedings in small claims court.
Yousef called DAS and explained the situation. A DAS lawyer responded to the agent’s claim and the case was dismissed on the basis that the agent had not upheld his end of the contract or properly explained the contract to Yousef. If Yousef had taken action without DAS, the case would have cost him approximately $7,000 in legal fees.
A faulty purchase
Wes purchased an under-floor heating system for his home and also paid for its installation. There were immediate problems following the installation; the system did not work as it was supposed to. The faulty system required numerous visits from engineers, and Wes also had to purchase new parts. When the repairs were finally complete, the company sent a bill for $8,000 in addition to what he had already paid for the system and its original installation. Wes was extremely frustrated as he did not think he should be held accountable for the faulty system, and he tried to negotiate a reduction with the retailer. The company would not reduce the bill and threatened to take Wes to small claims court.
Wes put his DAS Personal policy to use and a DAS lawyer was assigned to his case. The lawyer negotiated on his behalf and it was agreed Wes would pay for the parts and the retailer would pay for the labour to avoid a small claims action. As a DAS policyholder, not only did Wes save $3,600 in legal fees, but he also avoided the additional stress of continued negotiations or having to go to small claims court.
Heather, an office manager, called the Legal Advice Helpline for advice after a conversation between herself and her employer at her job. She had objected to her employer’s request to reduce her hours and pay. Shortly after this exchange, Heather was dismissed from her position with cause, allegedly as a result of her violating company policies. Even though Heather had been with the company for 15 years, being dismissed with cause meant that she was not entitled to payment in lieu of notice, and instead, her former employer offered her four months’ salary as compensation.
Stressed and unsure what to do, Heather called DAS and a lawyer was appointed to her case. The panel lawyer felt that the dismissal with cause was suspect and that Heather was entitled to more than her former employer had offered. The lawyer contacted her former employer, challenged their decision to dismiss her with cause, and as a result, was able to negotiate a settlement that Heather was happy with – without having to resort to litigation.
Within three months, the dispute was resolved and Heather received double the amount she was originally offered. Without a DAS Legal Expense Insurance policy, this would have costed Heather more than $2,000 in legal fees.