lee j

7.2: Application for judgment
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
7.4: Proceedings after summary judgment against party

Case Summary

The Plaintiff, Ms. Cardinal, commenced an Action against the Defendant on the basis that the Defendant denied her claim for insurance coverage following a motor vehicle accident. The Defendant denied coverage on the basis that Ms. Cardinal was in a stolen vehicle during the accident. The Defendant successfully applied for Summary Dismissal of the Claim, and the Plaintiff appealed the Master’s Decision. The Plaintiff argued that her knowledge of whether the vehicle was stolen created a genuine issue for Trial.

Lee J. considered Rules 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, particularly Rules 7.3(1)(b) and 7.3(3)(a), and noted that, procedurally, the Court must ask whether examination of the existing record can lead to a fair and just adjudication for the parties. Substantively, the Court must ask whether there is any issue of merit that genuinely requires a Trial, or whether the Claim or Defense is so compelling that the likelihood of its success means that it should be determined summarily. His Lordship noted further that Summary Judgment is not possible when the evidence about material facts, conflicts, and complex legal issues may be sufficient to defeat a Summary Judgment Application.

Lee J. observed that there were two or more reasonable interpretations of the relevant section of the insurance policy, and also held that the law was unsettled in Alberta with respect to the relevance of a claimant’s knowledge of a stolen car in similar circumstances. Lee J. therefore held that the Defendant insurance company had not proven that there was no genuine issue for Trial and allowed the Appeal.

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