Chernet v. RBC General Insurance Company Case Summary

Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Blog Case Summaries - May 5 2017 written by Michael Ettedgui

The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal granting summary judgement against a plaintiff for damages arising from a rear-end motor vehicle accident.

The appellant claimed the respondents’ vehicle swerved or turned suddenly, requiring the appellant to stop so quickly that the accident could not be avoided. Citing physical evidence, including the absence of skid marks on the road and the fact that the respondents’ car sustained damage at the centre rear rear and not on its side, the motion judge took judicial notice that this was indeed a “straight-forward rear-end collision.” The appellant asserted the motion judge erred by improperly taking judicial notice of scientific and technical matters in determining how the accident occurred.

The Court of Appeal stated, “[t]he motion judge was not required to advise the parties of the inferences he drew from… unchallenged facts. He was entitled to conclude that this evidence supported the evidence of the respondents and was inconsistent with the evidence of the respondents.”

The Court also cited Beumont v. Ruddy, [1932] O.R. 441 (CA), which states that the rear-ending party bears the onus of satisfying the court that collision did not arise due to his negligence.

Read the Full Decision.