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Owner’s Consent to Drive can Only be given by owner, and not by another driver with consent

Garrioch v. Sonex Construction Ltd., 2017 ABCA 105

Sonex Construction allowed its employee, Dustin Garrioch to use its company truck. Unbeknownst to Sonex, Garrioch did not have a driver’s license so he allowed a former employee, Tyler Tessman, to drive the truck for him. Tessman took the company truck on a wild ride through a farmer’s field, which ended in a rollover accident.

At issue on appeal was whether Sonex had provided Tessman with its implied consent to drive its truck, making him an alternate driver and potentially insured under Sonex’s automobile insurance policy.

The Court of Appeal stated the question to be answered was not whether Tessman ‘reasonably believed’ he had consent from Sonex, or whether Garrioch had reasonably provided consent for Tessman to drive. Rather, the test to be applied was whether Sonex itself had provided consent for Tessman to drive the truck.

The Court of Appeal found that Sonex had given permission only to Garrioch or another current employee of Sonex to drive the truck. There was no consent for other non-employees to drive the truck, including Tessman. The appeal was allowed.

You can read Garrioch v. Sonex Construction Ltd., 2017 ABCA 105, in its entirety here.

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