Lisa Belcourt, a partner at Ferguson Barristers, was successful before Justice T.M. Wood at the Ontario Superior Court in obtaining insurance coverage for Barbara Kozel after Ms. Kozel was involved in a car accident in Florida. Lisa has extensive experience at all levels of the Ontario Courts and represents clients in personal injury and other litigation matters throughout the Northwest and Central East regions of Ontario. Read more about Lisa, one of Ontario’s injury lawyers, by clicking here.
What happened in this case?
While in Florida in February of 2012, Ms. Kozel was involved in an accident with a motorcyclist and as a result, the motorcyclist commenced an action against her in the State of Florida. At the time of the accident, Ms. Kozel’s motor vehicle licence had expired and consequently, her insurance company argued that she was not covered under her contract of insurance with them. Lisa Belcourt brought an application on behalf of Ms. Kozel for a declaration that The Personal Insurance Company owed a duty to indemnify and defend Ms. Kozel.
What did the court decide?
The court held that the offence in this case was one of strict liability which meant that there was a defence of due diligence available – in other words, the court had to determine whether or not in this case Ms. Kozel had a reasonable belief that her licence was valid and whether or not she took all reasonable care in the circumstances.
In the end, the court found in favour of Ms. Kozel and ordered that the insurance company owed a duty to defend her against the motorcyclist’s personal injury action. Justice T.M. Wood also ordered the insurance company to pay all costs Ms. Kozel had already incurred, both in Canada and in the United States, in defending the action herself. You can read the entire reported decision at Kozel v. The Personal Insurance Company, 2013 ONSC 2670.