Successful action by insurer against three individuals for breach of contract for staging a motor vehicle accident

Insurance law – Automobile insurance – Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – Damages – Repayment – Motor vehicle accidents – Joint and several liability – Policies and insurance contracts – Rights and duties of insured – Breach of policy – Actions – Limitation of actions

Intact Insurance Co. v. Thompson, [2016] O.J. No 6696, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Small Claims Court, December 28, 2016, M. Gannage Deputy J.

On November 20, 2011, a motor vehicle accident allegedly occurred when the defendants were rear-ended by another vehicle. One defendant was the driver, owner and operator of the vehicle that was allegedly rear-ended. The two additional defendants were passengers in the vehicle.

The insurer was notified of the accident and indemnified the owner of the vehicle for costs and expenses related to the property damage and loss of his car. The three defendants also submitted claims for statutory accident benefits for soft tissue injuries. The insurer accepted the defendants’ applications and paid the defendants’ statutory accident benefits.

The insurer subsequently investigated the claim and obtained an accident reconstruction report. Significant inconsistencies were found between the physical evidence obtained in the course of the investigation and the defendants’ evidence. The insurers’ accident reconstruction expert was of the opinion the damage to the vehicles was not consistent with the reported collision and the sequence of events. This opinion was accepted by the court. In addition, the court found that the inconsistencies between the defendants’ statements were cumulatively significant and the court concluded on the balance of probabilities that the accident did not happen. As a result, the defendants were ordered to pay the insurer for the amounts paid for the property loss, statutory accident benefits and investigation fees.

This case was digested by Aaron D. Atkinson and edited by David W. Pilley of Harper Grey LLP. If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact them directly at [email protected] or [email protected] or review their biographies at http://www.harpergrey.com.

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