Lloyd's of London appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada in the Rossy case

MONTREAL, Jan. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Lloyd's of London, as insurer of the City of Westmount, is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Rossy v. The City of Westmount.

Lloyd's of London considers that the narrow approach endorsed by the Québec Court of Appeal creates a dangerous precedent which may jeopardize the protection afforded to all Quebecers under the no-fault legal regime provided for under the Automobile Insurance Act.

On August 1st 2006, Gabriel Rossy was driving his car on Côte des Neiges road when a tree situated in a nearby wooded area was blown by the wind and fell onto his car, killing him instantly.

The Rossy family then sued the City of Westmount for 1.3 millions dollars claiming that the City was negligent in its upkeep and maintenance of the tree. A motion was presented to the Court in order to dismiss the action on the ground that the accident was covered by the no-fault legal regime provided for under the Automobile Insurance Act.

The Court of Appeal however dismissed the motion and decided that the accident was rather governed by the general rules of civil liability.

According to the Court of Appeal, the accident was not covered by the no-fault legal regime because Mr. Rossy could have been walking on the street and the tree could nonetheless have killed him. The Court added that the result would have been completely different if the tree, instead of falling onto Mr Rossy's car, would have fallen a few feet ahead of the car with Mr. Rossy's death resulting from the subsequent impact of the car hitting the tree.

Lloyd's of London is of the view that the Court of Appeal failed to apply the proper causality test and that the Automobile Insurance Act must be given a wide and generous interpretation in order to ensure that victims of car accidents be compensated without having to hire lawyers to sue potentially insolvent wrongdoers.

Lloyd's of London considers that the decision of the Court of Appeal does not sit well with the overall intent of the Automobile Insurance Act and hopes that the Supreme Court of Canada will grant leave to appeal in order to resolve this important matter.

Lloyd's of London are represented by attorneys André Legrand and Dominic Dupoy of Ogilvy Renault, L.L.P.


For further information:

Dominic Dupoy
Ogilvy Renault

André Legrand
Partner Lawyer
Ogilvy Renault

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