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ICBC Refused to Pay Successful Injury Victim But Court Orders ICBC to pay the full amount


Wormell v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, 2010 BCSC 1028
July 22, 2010-  The injury claimant obtained a court award of  $570,288.71  for serious personal injuries suffered in an accident. The at fault  ICBC insured owned a large Kenworth flatbed truck with an attached crane. The injury claimant was helping remove cargo when he jumped off the truck and sustained injuries. Mr. Justice Goepel found that his  injuries were caused by the truck owner’s  negligence.
At the time of the accident, the truck owner  had a policy of insurance with Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”).  ICBC refused to pay and claimed that the injury claimant’s loss did not arise out of the use and operation of a motor vehicle.   ICBC argued that at the time of the accident, the outriggers were extended, and the truck ceased to be a motor vehicle and became a crane . Alternatively, ICBC claimed  that his loss was  excluded because it  arose  out of the operation of attached equipment at a site.
The Supreme Court of Canada  set out the two-part test to be applied in interpreting the clause “arise out of the use and operation of a motor vehicle” :

1)        Did the accident result from the ordinary and well-known activities to which automobiles are put?

2)        Is there some nexus or causal relationship (not necessarily a direct or proximate causal relationship) between the appellant’s injuries and the ownership, use or operation of his vehicle, or is the connection between the injuries and the ownership, use or operation of the vehicle merely incidental or fortuitous?

The court found that the injury claimant was engaged in unloading goods from the truck. The use or operation of the vehicle materially contributed to his injuries, therefore he covered. The court futher concluded that the attached crane was not operating at a site and coverage was  therefore not excluded.  Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should ICBC be punished for refusing to pay a court award against their insured?

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