Canadian Underwriter

Dismantling a truck flatbed for parts is not an ordinary use of a vehicle: arbitrator

September 30, 2010   by

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The family of a man who was crushed to death while dismantling a truck flatbed for parts is not entitled to benefits because he was not fatally injured in an “ordinary and well-known activity to which automobiles are put,” an Ontario arbitrator has ruled.

The parents of the deceased, Floyd Clause, have an auto scrap yard on their property located on the Six Nations Reserve in Brantford, Ont. Clause was found at the back of the property in 2004 crushed under the weight of a truck flat bed. His body was found near a hydraulic lift and a pry bar, which he had apparently used to separate the hydraulic lift from the back of a truck flatbed. Since the vehicle he had been working on was not insured, the family made a claim on the insurance of Amy Angela Clause’s pickup truck.

RBC General Insurance Company disputed the claim, saying Clause’s injuries did not happen as a result of an “accident,” as defined under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).

The arbitrator, Anne Sone, agreed with the insurer that the use or operation of the vehicle did not directly cause the fatal injury.

“In my view, the dismantling of a piece of a truck (the flatbed) for parts is clearly not an ‘ordinary and well-known activity to which automobiles are put’,” she ruled. •