In­sur­ance providers balk at pay­ing vic­tims

StarMetro Toronto - - TORONTO - Alyshah Hasham COURTS RE­PORTER

If a drunk driver veered onto a side­walk, killing 10 peo­ple and in­jur­ing 16, his auto in­sur­ance pol­icy would typ­i­cally pay dam­ages awarded to the in­jured par­ties in a law­suit.

But if the driver was found to have driven into the pedestrians in­ten­tion­ally — as Alek Mi­nas­sian is al­leged to have done with a rented van in April 2018 — the in­sur­ance providers could ar­gue that no pay­out is re­quired. Al­ter­na­tively, they might of­fer a re­duced pay­out of as lit­tle as $ 200,000 no mat­ter how much the driver was in­sured for, and that amount would be shared among the many vic­tims.

With the first of sev­eral ex­pected law­suits against Mi­nas­sian and the van rental com­pany now filed with the court, ex­perts say the vic­tims of the Yonge St. ram­page may be de­nied the ben­e­fits they would have re­ceived in a typ­i­cal col­li­sion case.

None of the al­le­ga­tions in the state­ment of claim have been tested in court and no state­ments of de­fence have been filed.

Ten peo­ple were killed and 16 in­jured when a van plowed into pedestrians in April.

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