It's not by Accident that an Assault is not an Accident

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Article Summary

Arbitrator Musson confirms an assault is an intervening event breaking the chain of causation between the use of the vehicle and the injuries suffered by the Applicant.

In Raja and Arch (FSCO A15-004857,, the Applicant taxi driver drove a young family to a local hospital. He exited the vehicle to remove the stroller from the trunk for the family, was paid his fare, and then got back into his vehicle to find his vehicle was boxed in.

He slowly reversed out of park and bumped the female passenger. The male passenger viciously punched the Applicant in the face when he got out of the cab. The Applicant suffered significant facial trauma as a result of the punch.

Arbitrator Musson accepted Arch's argument that the dominant feature of this incident was the assault, which was an intervening act breaking the chain of causation.

This case continues to grow the body of caselaw confirming that a vehicle must not simply be present at the location of an injury. Instead, it must play an active and direct role in the causation of the impairments while being used for a motoring purpose.

When considering similar claims, ask yourself whether:

1) The vehicle directly caused the impairment(s); and

2) The vehicle was being used for a motoring purpose at the time of the incident.

For a more detailed answer and legal opinion, call or email your favourite accident benefits lawyer.

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