A recent decision of the Superior Court of Quebec (Perron v. Famille
Marie-Jeunesse, 2023 QCCS 1719) provides some insight into
when an insured may compel a liability insurer to take up its
defence when the insured is already being defended by another
insurer. It also provides an example of circumstances where the
principle that a party may only be represented a single attorney or
firm before the court may trump the insurer’s right to select
defence counsel. However, given that permission for leave to appeal
was recently granted (Intact compagnie d’assurance c.
Lavoie, 2023 QCCA 941), the Superior Court’s judgment
may not prove to be the last word on the issue.
The insured and petitioner in this case is the former director
of the Famille Marie-Jeunesse, a religious organization. In 2021, a
class action was authorized against him and others in respect of