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April 30, 2012

Case Study

Rideau Acres Ltd. v. Lombard Canada Ltd.

Van Krkachovski
Court File No.: 065/08

On April 13, 2012, Justice Sheffield of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released his decision granting an order for summary judgment in our client’s favour. The issue before Justice Sheffield was whether the plaintiffs’ liability coverage was improperly removed by their insurance broker and our client, Lombard Canada Ltd., such that coverage should have responded and indemnified the plaintiffs for an underlying claim in negligence. The underlying claim arose out of a serious motor vehicle accident that occurred when a third party, in an inebriated state, had stolen a vehicle belonging to the plaintiffs. The resulting damages in the underlying action were significant.

At the motion for summary judgment, Justice Sheffield considered several complex legal issues including whether the plaintiffs’ coverage had been properly removed and whether an owner’s negligence in storing car keys constitutes "consent" under the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act. Following the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch (2011) ONCA 764 (Ont. C.A.), various legal academics and practitioners have commented that the decision may have made obtaining summary judgment increasingly difficult.

Despite the Court’s general reticence to extinguish a plaintiff’s action prior to the trial, Van Krkachovski persuaded Justice Sheffield that the plaintiffs’ claim disclosed no general issue for trial.

Should you wish to obtain further information concerning this decision, please contact Van Krkachovski, Chair of McCague Borlack LLP's Personal Injury practice area.


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