The case of Pembridge Insurance Company of Canada v. Chu, 2019 ONCA 904, arose out of a motor vehicle accident.
The plaintiff sued Fabrizi alleging that he drove through a red light and caused her injuries.
Fabrizi commenced a third party claim against Chu. Fabrizi alleged that Chu drove negligently. Fabrizi also alleged that Chu got out of his vehicle and threatened Fabrizi and a passenger with violence. This made Fabrizi and his passenger fear for their lives.
Fabrizi claimed, among other things, that his flight from Chu led to the collision which caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Chu’s automobile insurer, Dominion, conceded that it had a duty to defend the allegations of negligent driving against Chu. However, Chu’s homeowner’s insurer, Pembridge, denied coverage.
The motion judge held that Pembridge did not have to defend Chu. This was based on an exclusion in the homeowner’s policy for claims made arising from the ownership, use or operation of any motorized vehicle.
The Court of Appeal overturned the motion judge’s ruling. The Court of Appeal stated that the automobile exclusion does not clearly exclude coverage for Chu’s actions after he got out of his car.
Moreover, regarding an exclusion for intentional or criminal acts, the Court of Appeal indicated that there has to be an intent to injure. There was no allegation in the pleadings that Chu intended to harm the plaintiff or Fabrizi.
As a result, Pembridge was ordered to defend Chu under the homeowner’s policy. Therefore, Chu will be defended under both his homeowner’s policy and his auto policy.