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Initiating a Road Rage Incident Enough to Find Third Party Liable for Motor Vehicle Accident in Ontario

Moran v Fabrizi, 2023 ONCA 21 

Reading Time: 3 minutes (approx.) 

By: Chloe Jardine (Articled Clerk)  

Tate Moran (“the Plaintiff”) was injured in a motor vehicle accident while a passenger in a minivan driven by her grandmother. Ottavio Fabrizi (“the Defendant”) ran a red light and struck the minivan, resulting in the Plaintiff’s injuries. The Defendant pursued a claim against Dennis G. K. Chu (“the Third Party”) for a road rage incident that occurred just prior to the motor vehicle accident.  

The Defendant was travelling behind the Third Party on a residential street when the Defendant elected to pass the vehicle due to the Third Party travelling slowly. The Third Party sped up to the Defendant’s vehicle, exited his vehicle, and began yelling at the Defendant and his passenger including punching and hitting the Defendant’s vehicle. The Defendant and his passenger were frightened and attempted to leave the scene. The Defendant drove around the Third Party’s vehicle, attempted to turn right to exit the scene, and subsequently struck the Plaintiff’s minivan in the intersection.  

The Third Party argued that the trial judge did not appropriately apply the legal test for causation to determine if the Third Party should bear a portion of liability for the accident. The trial judge found that the accident, and therefore the Plaintiff’s injuries, would not have occurred but for the conduct of the Third Party. The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed. The Third Party was found to bear 50% liability for the accident, and the appeal was dismissed.  

Link: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/2023/2023onca21/2023onca21.html?autocompleteStr=Moran%20v.%20Fabrizi&autocompletePos=1

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