Hit by an Uninsured Car in Ontario, who do you sue?
What happens when a pedestrian is hit by an uninsured car? What if that pedestrian does not
have her own car (i.e. at home) and therefore she has no insurance coverage herself?
And what happens if the pedestrian is sprawled on the front hood of the uninsured car when
together, they immediately hit a taxi that is properly waiting to make a left hand turn at that same
Which insurance company will respond to the pedestrian’s tort lawsuit seeking damages? Will it
be the taxi’s insurance company or will it be the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF)?
This was the situation in Seetal v. Quiroz (2009 Ontario Superior Court of Justice). The answer
in that case was that the taxi’s insurance company will respond to the pedestrian’s lawsuit for
damages by offering the $200,000 statutory minimum coverage for tort claims.
In Seetal, the taxi’s insurance company was Lombard. They did provide Accident Benefits
coverage to the pedestrian after this accident, although at this motion they argued that they did so
There were a number of motions in Seetal that were heard at the same time. Interestingly, one of
the motions was a summary judgment motion brought by Lombard – who won (i.e. their insured
taxi driver bore no liability for the subject accident) and had the action dismissed against their
insured taxi driver. That summary judgment motion was not even contested because the
evidence was that the taxi was properly waiting in the intersection waiting to turn left when it was
struck by the uninsured car (with the pedestrian on the front hood).
However, on the issue of whether Lombard’s insurance policy responded to the pedestrian’s tort
claim, the issue was whether the taxi was involved overall with the pedestrian’s accident. After
going through his analysis, Mr. Justice Perell found that the taxi was involved in the accident –
the focus was on the short time elapsed between the pedestrian’s initial impact and the