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.
SOURCE OGILVY RENAULT LLP - ENGLISH
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