POLITICS

Supreme Court says auto insurance applies to man killed when tree fell on car

06/22/2012 10:11 EDT | Updated 08/22/2012 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada says the family of a Quebec man killed when a tree fell on his car should be using the province's no-fault auto insurance scheme to seek compensation, not a civil lawsuit.

The court's ruling stems from an August 2006 incident in which a tree maintained by the City of Westmount fell and killed Gabriel Anthony Rossy, who was in his automobile.

His family sued the city for failing to maintain the tree, but a Superior Court judge dismissed the action, saying it was a matter that should be dealt with through the province's Automobile Insurance Act.

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned that ruling and found that the car had nothing to do with Rossy's death.

It ruled it was simply something he was sitting in when he died.

In its 7-0 decision, the Supreme Court restored the lower court ruling and dismissed the lawsuit against Westmount.