Insurer of a bus operator was required to indemnify its insured for any amounts found to be owing to the plaintiffs as a result of its vicarious liability for an employee who had possession of a bus with consent, but who was not authorized to operate the bus at the time it was involved in an accident.

[2011] O.J. No. 3233

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

A. Mullins J.

June 29, 2011

The plaintiffs sought damages arising from personal injuries alleged to have been sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The other vehicle involved was a school bus. The driver of the bus did not have the authorization of her employer to operate it at the time of the collision which gave rise to the claim.

The plaintiffs commenced two actions. In the first, the driver of the bus, her employer, and the insurer of the plaintiffs' vehicle were named as defendants. The insurer of the bus operator denied coverage to the driver of the bus. The second action was commenced by the plaintiffs wherein they sought, indemnity from their own insurer pursuant to the uninsured and underinsured provisions of the plaintiff's own policy.

The plaintiffs' insurer moved for summary judgment dismissing both actions against it.

The Court found that the driver of the bus had possession of the vehicle with her employer's consent even if she was not authorized to drive the bus at the time of the accident. Accordingly, her employer was vicariously liable for her negligence and its insurer would be required to indemnify it for any amounts found to be owing to the plaintiffs. Accordingly, the plaintiffs' insurer's motion for summary judgment was granted.