Allstate considering appeal in effort to counter-suit former employee

Published: July 30, 2019

Updated: September 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Last week, an Ontario court rejected an attempt by Allstate Insurance to counter-sue a former employee for $700,000. In response, Allstate officials are now considering whether to appeal the decision and take the matter further.

“Our legal counsel is reviewing the decision and we will decide whether to appeal in the next few weeks,” Angie Morris, vice president of legal and general counsel for Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, wrote in a statement to Canadian Underwriter.

The case in question is Joshi v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, which was decided on July 22 when the Ontario Superior Court Justice Jessica Kimmel ruled Allstate could not start a counter-suit against Medha Joshi. Kimmel says the suit was a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) and dismissed it.

Joshi is in the process of suing Allstate for $600,000 for wrongful dismissal. She previously managed the company’s agency in Brampton and later in Milton. Joshi made headlines last year when she said Allstate stopped her from selling auto insurance in Brampton. She says she was fired when she pushed back against Allstate Insurance Canada in an effort to end the practice.

“It’s just wrong. There is no other word for it,” said Medha Joshi. “I said it was wrong, and I was reprimanded for it.”

“It was very clearly said, in so many words, that there is a lot of fraud that happens in Brampton. That there is a very high number of claims and a very high number of fraudulent claims,” she said in an interview from her home in Rockwood, Ont.

However, Joshi doubts the explanation that fraud was the reason for the discriminatory sales practice. After several years in the industry, Joshi was experienced and had worked in Brampton, as well as Kingston, Downtown Toronto, and Milton.

“People are people. There was nothing that walked in through the door in Brampton that was different than any place else,” she said.

Brampton is one of the most expensive auto insurance markets in Canada.