Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 674 21
L. Petrykowski
  • Right to sue
  • Supplier of motor vehicle, machinery or equipment

W and Y were truck drivers involved in a multi-vehicle accident. W was killed when a coil from Y's trailer came loose and struck W's truck. W's estate and spouse brought a civil action against Y and his employer. Y's employer leased the tractor and trailer being driven by Y from two leasing companies. W's adult children brought a separate action against Y, Y's employer, and the two leasing companies that owned the tractor and trailer. The defendants in the civil actions brought an application for a declaration that the plaintiffs' right to sue was taken away by the WSIA.

The application was granted in part.
There was no dispute that W and Y were workers of Schedule 1 employers in the course of their employment at the time of the accident. Consequently, the plaintiffs' right to sue Y and Y's employer in both actions was barred by the Act.
The right to sue the two leasing companies in the second action was not extinguished. Section 28(4) of the WSIA provides an exception to the prohibition on civil actions where an employer provides a motor vehicle on a purchase or rental basis without also supplying workers to operate the motor vehicle. The leasing companies supplied the vehicle being driven by Y at the time of the accident and did not supply workers to operate it. The fact that W was driving a truck owned by his employer did not dispel or remove the applicability of s. 28(4) to the two leasing companies. There was insufficient evidence to support the applicants' submission that one of the leasing companies was related to Y's employer and therefore should be entitled to the same protection.
A declaration was issued under s. 29(4) that no damages caused by the fault or negligence of Y and his employer were recoverable in the actions.