Court favours man injured after tripping over bike

Court of Appeal decision has confirmed that a man who tripped over a parked motorcycle was involved in an accident under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.

Patrick Caughy was left with serious spinal cord injuries after the 2012 fall, but he was denied benefits from his own insurer on the basis that his trip, which occurred late at night while intoxicated, did not meet the definition of an accident.

Last summer, a superior court judge declared the incident an accident, and on March 24, in Economical Mutual Insurance Company v. Caughy, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld that judgment, dismissing the insurer’s appeal.

“It’s important I think for people to understand that accident benefits don’t rely necessarily on the fact that the vehicle has to be in motion, or even that anyone is in the vehicle or in the process of starting or running it,” says Nigel Gilby, who acted for Caughy throughout.

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Nigel Gilby

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