Guelph student launches lawsuit to get money back from cancelled school trip
KITCHENER -- A Guelph student is now the face of a multi-million dollar national lawsuit trying to get money back from a school trip cancelled because of COVID-19.
The first lawsuit of its kind since the pandemic began.
Now, thousands of other Canadian families are expected to join the lawsuit.
Carter Adnams worked a part-time job for months to save money for a school trip to Costa Rica.
"A long time going into this, that was shattered in one email," he said.
The trip was scheduled for March, but was cancelled. Adnams said he paid $3,000 for the trip, along with $120 for insurance, and he hasn't gotten any money back.
"It sucks not getting that money back that you worked so hard for," he said.
The trip was booked by teachers at Guelph Collegiate through Explorica. The insurance was purchased from Arch Insurance.
"When I contacted them, because they had been moving around so much, they indicated they were missing information from Explorica," Scott Adnams said.
After months of not getting any answers, the Adnams family realized they weren't alone and launched legal action. They filed a statement of claim this week.
"Arch has refused to pay the plaintiff his insured benefits in accordance with the terms of the policy," the claim said in part. "Arch alleges Explorica has failed to provide information and documentation. While Explorica has denied this explanation, it is irrelevant to the determination of the plaintiff's claim under the policy."
"You literally have finger pointing by these major corporations and they are refusing to pay," said Sivan Tumarkin, the family's lawyer through Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.
He said the onus is on Arch Insurance to provide a refund.
"The trip got cancelled for a valid reason, but you had insurance," Tumarkin said. "It's the insurance company that needs to pay."
In a statement to CTV News, Arch Insurance Canada said "our policy is not to comment on legal matters."
The statement of claim is seeking $10 million to be split among the Adnams family and the potentially thousands of other families expected to join in this legal battle.
The statement of claim still needs to be certified as a class action by a judge. If that happens, the family has requested the trial be held in Toronto.