Stan Rule has another excellent post at Rule of Law today. He reports on MacMichael v. Strocel, a January 2009 ruling of the B.C. Supreme Court that decided between the competing entitlement claims of a widow and a deceased's former wife to payment of federal survivor benefits under the Public Service Superannuation Pension Plan.
Fern MacMichael asked the court to declare that James MacMichael held the survivors’ benefits in trust for her. She argued that the separation agreement created a trust, or alternatively that allowing Marie MacMichael to keep the benefits would unjustly enrich her.
Madam Justice Stromberg-Stein ruled that the widow was entitled to keep the survivors’ benefits. The separation agreement did not contain wording that would create an express trust for the benefits.
The Court also rejected the argument that the widow was unjustly enriched.