Thérèse Godbout, et al. v. Jean-Maurice Pagé, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)




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Insurance - Automobile insurance - Public no-fault automobile insurance scheme - Whether Court of Appeal erred in law in concluding that s. 83.57 of Automobile Insurance Act barred appellants’ action in damages for injury separate from injury caused by automobile accident - Whether Court of Appeal erred in concluding that receipt of compensation from Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (the “SAAQ”) negated any right to claim from others for injury caused by act independent of and separate from automobile accident - Automobile Insurance Act, CQLR, c. A-25 (the “Act”), s. 83.57.

On January 10, 1999, Thérèse Godbout (“the appellant”) was involved in an automobile accident, following which she was transferred to the respondent Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal under the care of the respondent physicians. While in hospital, she underwent a double amputation below the knees and suffered permanent neurological impairment to her right hand. The appellant and her brother and daughter brought an action in damages against the respondents, alleging that they had failed to assess, monitor and treat her condition properly and that this had resulted in an aggravation of her injury and had caused separate injuries that were not a logical and foreseeable consequence of the automobile accident. In addition to that action, the appellant collected and continues to collect compensation from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec under s. 83.57 of the Automobile Insurance Act, CQLR, c. A-25 (the “Act”). Before trial, the parties jointly asked the Superior Court to determine whether s. 83.57 of the Act barred the appellants’ action in damages.

Lower Court Rulings

October 10, 2013
Superior Court of Quebec

Declaratory judgment finding that s. 83.57 of Act did not prevent civil liability action against respondents if applicants able to prove separate fault and injury.
February 9, 2015
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2015 QCCA 225, 500-09-023967-136
Appeal allowed.