In Zurich v. Ison T.H. Auto Sales, following a large loss event, the insurer paid out $1.1 million to its insured. The insured claimed that it had an additional uninsured loss of $700,000 and commenced an action against the alleged wrongdoer, including in its action both its claim for its uninsured loss and the insurer’s subrogated claim. A dispute arose between the insured and the insurer over who should have carriage and control of the action. The insurer brought an application for carriage of the action. The application was dismissed by the application judge.
This recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal is likely to cause ripples of apprehension in municipalities across Ontario. In Guy v. Toronto (City), the Court of Appeal upheld both the Divisional Court and the Superior Court decisions finding the City of Toronto liable to Ms. Guy for damages she suffered as a result of a slip and fall on an icy road allowance.
In a decision released October 17, 2011, the Court of Appeal has endorsed a due diligence defence for the “not authorized by law to drive” exclusion contained in statutory condition 4 of the Ontario standard automobile policy O.A.P. 1. G2 drivers who drive with alcohol in their blood can avoid the exclusion and are entitled to coverage if they can show that, although their blood alcohol level was not zero, this breach of the conditions of their driver’s licence occurred despite the exercise of due diligence on their part. Similarly, if an owner of an insured vehicle permits a G2 driver whose blood alcohol level is not zero to drive the vehicle, the owner is still entitled to coverage if the owner can show that this occurred despite the exercise of due diligence.