The court hears arguments in case #28540, American International Assurance Life Company and American Life Insurance Company v. Dorothy Martin, on October 28, 2002.
Edward Joseph Easingwood, a family physician, died in October 1996 from an overdose of Demerol that he was administering to himself intravenously to treat pain from an orthopedic injury. His life insurance policy covered only accidental death caused by accidental means, and the insurance company argued that Dr. Easingwood had deliberately administered too much Demerol to himself and that his death was therefore neither an accident nor caused by accidental means. The British Columbia Supreme Court agreed with the insurance company, but the B.C. Court of Appeal did not. The insurance company is now appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lawyer Peter Griffin presents arguments on behalf of American International Assurance Life Company, et al. and responds to questions from the justices.