What is the definition of “ownership” in relation to vicarious liability?

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What is the definition of “ownership” in relation to vicarious liability?

A new insurance coverage decision sheds light on your responsibility as a car owner. In Due v. Waters, 2014 ONSC 6007 (CanLII), http://canlii.ca/t/gf0j8, the case discusses the definition of “ownership” in relation to vicarious liability.  The  law says that an owner is responsible for the actions of a driver in his or her vehicle if the driver is driving with consent.  This means that if you “legally” own a car in Ontario, you are responsible for the activities of those who use your vehicle with your permission, even if you believe that you have given up ownership.  Due v. Waters  turned on the failure of the alleged owner to remove the license plates after trading his vehicle with another party. Since license plates are to be removed, by law, the former owner was still considered to be an owner and therefore liable for the actions of the driver.

Remember, when trading or selling your vehicle, register a transfer of ownership and remove your license plates from the vehicle you are selling.

Questions about this case or a legal matter relevant to you? Contact Singer Kwinter at 1 866 285 6927 or email Ari Singer at asinger@singerkwinter.com.