In a recent decision, Beattie and Unifund Assurance
Company, [FSCO A13-005289], Arbitrator Kelly considered
whether a "Genie Boom Crane" was an automobile under the
Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
The accident happened on July 8, 2010 when the applicant was
operating a "Genie S65 Boom Lift" - a four-wheeled mobile
crane propelled by its own motor. The purpose of the Genie
was to elevate the Claimant to enable him to perform a maintenance
function with respect to a building. He was operating the
Genie in a private parking lot. While he was working, the
ground level of the parking lot collapsed. The Claimant
There was no dispute that the accident occurred on private
property. The only issue was whether, at the time and place
of the incident, the Genie was an automobile within the meaning of
section 1(1) of the SABS.
In order to be successful, the Claimant had to establish that,
at the time and place when and where the incident took place, the
Genie was (a) a motor vehicle or an off-road vehicle and (b) was
legally required to be insured under a motor vehicle liability
policy (either pursuant to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance
Act or pursuant to the Off-Road Vehicles Act).
In answering the question, Arbitrator Kelly considered the Court
of Appeal's decision in Adams v. Pineland Amusement
Ltd., which confirmed the three-part test as follows:
Is the vehicle an "automobile" in ordinary
If not, is the vehicle defined as an "automobile"
within the wording of the insurance policy?
If not, does the vehicle fall within any enlarged definition of
"automobile" in any relevant statute?
On the evidence, Arbitrator Kelly found that the Genie failed on
the first two tests. In considering the third test, the Arbitrator
was satisfied that in accordance with the Highway Traffic
Act and therefore in accordance with the Compulsory
Automobile Insurance Act, the Genie was at all material times
a motor vehicle as it was propelled otherwise than by muscular
power and was not excluded by the exceptions set out in the
Highway Traffic Act. It was noted that the
Insurance Act did not define motor vehicle.
Arbitrator Kelly was satisfied that the Genie was at the
material time and place an off-road vehicle. As it was not
operated on a highway and was not owned by the owner of the parking
lot, it required liability insurance at the material time.
Accordingly, the Genie was found to be an automobile pursuant
section 224 of the Insurance Act for the purposes of
section 2(1) of the SABS.
This decision serves as another example of the expansive
definition given to the meaning of "automobile" in the
context of the SABS.
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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