June 04, 2018
Rochette, Dufresne, Rancourt
Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Quebec dismissing a declinatory exception. Allowed.
The respondent seeks compensation from the appellant, the owner of a parking lot, after she fell while removing snow from her car. The trial judge found that the Automobile Insurance Act (CQLR, c. A-25) did not apply to this case based on res judicata, given the decisions previously rendered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (the “SAAQ”) and the Tribunal administratif du Québec on this issue.
The judge erred in deciding that the criterion of the identity of the parties had been met through representation. Moreover, the damage suffered by the respondent when she fell while removing snow from her car was caused by her use thereof within the meaning of s. 1 of the Act. To interpret the word [translation] “maintenance” as including the removal of snow from a car would contravene the rule that exceptions to the law must be narrowly interpreted. This therefore constitutes an accident covered under the Act, and the respondent should consequently be compensated by the SAAQ.
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