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Court Awards Advance Payment in a Motor Vehicle Accident when Liability is Contested

Francouer v. Beaulieu, 2017 NBQB 9

The plaintiff, Francoeur, was injured in a motor vehicle accident on September 5, 2014. He was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Nadia Ouellette who allegedly ran a stop sign and was involved in a collision with a vehicle driven by Wendy Beaulieu.

An action was commenced against both Ms. Ouellette and Ms. Beaulieu, liability was contested as between the Defendants.

The plaintiff sought an advance payment from the defendants for loss of income from the date of the accident until December 31, 2016.

The motion judge, Justice LaVigne, clarified that under Section 265.6 of the Insurance Act, which governs advanced payments in motor vehicle claims, a judge must be satisfied that the defendant’s liability be established at trial, before granting an order for advance payment to a plaintiff.

The defendant Beaulieu requested that advance payment be made by the defendant Ouellette because they assert that Ms. Ouellette was solely liable for the accident. Defendant Ouellette requests that the advance payment be made payable by all defendants in equal portions since liability is still an issue.

Justice LaVigne agreed that it would be inappropriate to deny an advance payment to the plaintiff merely because of the difficulty of determining degrees of liability amongst the defendants. Justice LaVigne determined that it was more likely than not that defendant Beaulieu would establish a complete defence of the action. She then determined that it was more likely than not that Defendant Ouelette would not establish a complete defence to the action.

Ultimately, Justice Lavigne dismissed the motion against defendant Beaulieu and granted an order for advance payment against the defendant Ouellette.

You can read Francouer v. Beaulieu, 2017 NBQB 9, in its entirety here.

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