The Court of Appeal, in Matheson v. Lewis, [2014 ONCA 542]
recently held that an All Terrain Vehicle ("ATV") is an
off-road vehicle that must be insured while on a roadway.
The Plaintiff was injured in an accident as he travelled by ATV
on a public roadway from one part of his farm to another. In total,
the Plaintiff intended to be on the public roadway for thirty
seconds or less.
In the Statement of Claim, the Plaintiff named the driver of the
truck that hit him, the owner of the truck that struck him and his
accident benefits provider.
The Plaintiff brought a motion to determine whether his action
was statute barred. At issue was whether the Plaintiff had to have
the ATV insured. If it had to be insured, Mr. Matheson's tort
claim was barred and his accident benefits entitlement was
While the motions Judge found that the ATV was a
"self-propelled implement of husbandry" and therefore did
not have to be insured, the Court of Appeal overturned this
finding. In doing so, the Court of Appeal found that the ATV was an
off road vehicle that had to be insured if it was being operated on
a public road.
The Court of Appeal noted that Ontario Regulation 863 under the
Off-Road Vehicles Act specifically classified the model of
the ATV operated by the Plaintiff as an off-road vehicle. Further,
section 15 prohibited a person from operating an off-road vehicle
on land not occupied by the owner of the vehicle unless it was
insured under an automobile policy. Similarly, Regulation 316/03
under the Highway Traffic Act required off-road vehicles
to be insured when travelling on highways.
In rejecting that the ATV was a self-propelled implement of
husbandry, the Court of Appeal noted that there had to be evidence
that the ATV was manufactured, designed, redesigned, converted or
reconstructed for specific use in farming. The Court of Appeal
held, at best, that the ATV was designed and manufactured to be a
multi-purpose vehicle which was widely used for farming.
Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal held that not all vehicles used
for farming purposes are excluded from Ontario's compulsory
automobile insurance regime.
The Appeal was allowed and the Plaintiff's tort claim was
dismissed. The claim for accident benefits was limited because the
ATV was not insured at the material time.
Under B.C.'s former and current Limitation Act, the limitation period for a Plaintiff's claim can be extended on the basis of a Defendant having acknowledged in writing some liability for the cause of action.
Automobile drivers, like fine wine, tend to get better with age. Older drivers can draw on a wealth of experience from their years on the road to assist them when faced by a variety of dangerous conditions.
The insurance industry will be interested in Ledcor Construction Ltd v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co because of principles the Supreme Court of Canada applied to the "faulty workmanship" exclusion in a Builders' Risk policy.
For the first time in BC, a Court has decided that an insured is entitled to special costs, rather than the lower tariff costs, solely because they were successful in a coverage action against their insurer.
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