10/10/2006Canada: Truck Held Responsible for Rifle Wound
The Canadian Supreme Court will consider the case where a pickup truck was held responsible for an accidental shooting.
A Canadian appeals court last year declared the accidental shooting of a man during a deer hunt to have been a motor vehicle accident because the shooter had driven to the scene in a pickup truck. Last week, Canada's Supreme Court agreed to take up the appeal filed by the automobile insurance company held responsible for the accidental shooting.
On November 2, 1999, Harold Herbison, Fred Wolfe and several others had planned to spend the day deer hunting. Early in the morning while it was still dark, Wolfe drove with his wife Betty toward his hunting station in his pickup truck. Wolfe stopped when thought he saw a deer in the distance. He took his rifle, got out of the truck, and fired toward Herbison, hitting him in the upper thigh.
Herbison sued Wolfe for negligence. In April 2001, a Superior Court judge dismissed the claim against the insurance company, arguing the truck had nothing to do with the shooting. An appeals court overturned this decision in June 2005 finding that Herbison's losses arose "from the ownership or directly or indirectly from the use or operation" of the pickup truck. Wolfe's insurance company, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company was ordered to pay $900,000 CAD in damages.
The Supreme Court will hear the final appeal of this ruling with hearings that begin December 11.