Man sought damages after falling during his preparation to wash car
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/17/2013 -- According to an Ontario court’s recent ruling, an auto policy holder who injured himself tripping over a curb following his parking of a vehicle will not be entitled to benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Clause of the Province.
Judge James McNamara of the Ontario Superior Court recently issued an order in the case to which the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company sought a determination of an whether the injuries to its client fell under the definition of an “accident”.
The client, Maurice Prest, had parked his vehicle in his parking spot at home and was preparing to wash said vehicle when the incident occurred.
"He exited the vehicle and walked to the end of his car," according to the background information provided in the court decision. "He then tripped over a concrete curb that ... 'sticks out' from the wall of the parking garage ... He states his right hand was touching the car when he tripped."
The judges decision was that while the client did suffer impairment, the incident did not stem from the operation of the vehicle, or directly involve the vehicle leading up to the accident.
"Here the only role played by the motor vehicle was that the respondent drove it to the general location of where the incident occurred," McNamara ruled. "The use of the car had ended without injury being suffered. Mr. Prest had left the car and then was injured by a new intervening act, namely when he tripped over the curb."
Daniel Strigberger, a Kitchener, Ontario-based Lawyer for Miller Thomson, commented on the case, writing in his blog that the issue of nature normally takes longer to resolve. He noted in particular cases involving mediation and/or arbitration from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is not uncommon.
"Kudos to Dominion for getting an answer to this issue so fast," Strigberger wrote, noting that the insurance carrier was “pro-active” in this case. "I suspect we will be seeing more insurers take this approach."
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