Gudzinski Estate v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. et al., 2011 ABQB 283

JudgeBrowne, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateFebruary 02, 2011
Citations2011 ABQB 283;(2011), 516 A.R. 115 (QB)

Gudzinski Estate v. Allianz Global Risks (2011), 516 A.R. 115 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2011] A.R. TBEd. MY.012

Cheryl Anne Gudzinski, as the Executor under the will of Nicholas Joseph Gudzinski and Administrator Ad Litem of his Estate (respondents/plaintiffs) v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company and Aim Underwriting Limited (appellants/defendants)

(0703 10500; 2011 ABQB 283)

Indexed As: Gudzinski Estate v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. et al.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Edmonton

Browne, J.

April 26, 2011.

Summary:

Gudzinksi was the owner and pilot of an aircraft that crashed. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. held an insurance policy relating to the aircraft. Gudzinski's Estate brought an action against Allianz seeking recovery of $60,000 for damage to the plane. Allianz denied coverage arguing that Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate and therefore did not have "the required license" under the policy. An application was brought in the form of a Special Case under rule 232 of the former Rules of Court. At issue was the interpretation of the policy condition that a pilot have "the required license".

A Master of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at [2010] A.R. Uned. 789, held that Gudzinski had complied with the requirements of the policy and the aircraft was insured at the time of the crash. Allianz appealed.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench allowed the appeal. The court held that the policy was not in force as Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate at the time of the accident and therefore was not the holder of "the required license".

Insurance - Topic 1860

The insurance contract - Interpretation of contract - Construction - Popular meaning - [See Insurance - Topic 9754 ].

Insurance - Topic 9754

Aviation insurance - Risks - Exclusions - Unqualified pilot - Gudzinksi was the owner and pilot of an aircraft that crashed - Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. held an insurance policy relating to the aircraft - Gudzinski's Estate brought an action against Allianz seeking recovery of $60,000 for damage to the plane - Allianz denied coverage arguing that Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate and therefore did not have "the required license" under the policy - At issue was the interpretation of the policy condition that a pilot have "the required license" - The standard pilot license issued by Transport Canada indicated that it was valid only for the period for which the medical certificate was valid - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that the policy was not in force as Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate at the time of the accident and therefore was not the holder of a "required license" - The court stated that "[t]he ordinary meaning of both words 'required' and 'license' can only be interpreted to mean that a legal permit is required. The only reasonable and logical meaning to be given to both words is 'required by law' or 'licensed by law'. Both of these ordinary meanings necessarily infer the requirement of a pilot's license and medical certificate" - Moreover, it would be contrary to public policy to find that the policy encouraged flying aircraft without the appropriate legal permission.

Words and Phrases

Required license - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench considered the meaning of this phrase in the context of a condition in an insurance policy which required that a pilot of the aircraft covered by the policy have the "required license" - See paragraphs 37 to 44.

Cases Noticed:

United Utility Workers Association of Canada et al. v. TransAlta Corp. et al. (2004), 354 A.R. 58; 329 W.A.C. 58; 2004 ABCA 200, leave to appeal denied (2005), 337 N.R. 190; 371 A.R. 401; 354 W.A.C. 401 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 14].

Desoto Resources Ltd. v. Encana Corp. et al. (2010), 491 A.R. 97; 31 Alta. L.R.(5th) 282; 2010 ABQB 448, refd to. [para. 14].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1; 2002 SCC 33, refd to. [para. 15].

Janvier et al. v. 834474 Alberta Ltd. et al. (2010), 511 A.R. 76; 2010 ABQB 800, refd to. [para. 15].

Royal Bank of Canada v. Place (2010), 504 A.R. 230; 2010 ABQB 733, refd to. [para. 15].

Lee v. Lepage et al., [2010] A.R. Uned. 914; 2010 ABQB 829, refd to. [para. 15].

Heritage Station Inc. v. Professional Stucco Inc. et al., [2011] A.R. Uned. 63; 2011 ABQB 18, refd to. [para. 15].

Ma v. Quinn et al., [2011] A.R. Uned. 325; 2011 ABQB 103, refd to. [para. 15].

Pivotal Capital Advisory Group Ltd. v. NorAmera BioEnergy Corp. (2010), 487 A.R. 313; 495 W.A.C. 313; 2010 ABCA 199, refd to. [para. 17].

Jager v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. et al. (2001), 281 A.R. 273; 248 W.A.C. 273; 2001 ABCA 163, refd to. [para. 17].

Double N Earthmovers Ltd. v. Edmonton (City) et al. (2005), 363 A.R. 201; 343 W.A.C. 201; 2005 ABCA 104, affd. [2007] 1 S.C.R. 116; 356 N.R. 211; 401 A.R. 329; 391 W.A.C. 329; 2007 SCC 3, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Palmer, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 759; 30 N.R. 181; 50 C.C.C.(2d) 193, refd to. [para. 18].

Brissette v. Westbury Life Insurance Co., [1992] 3 S.C.R. 87; 142 N.R. 104; 58 O.A.C. 10; 96 D.L.R.(4th) 609, refd to. [para. 21].

Duke v. Clarica Life Insurance Co. (2008), 437 A.R. 185; 433 W.A.C. 185; 2008 ABCA 301, refd to. [para. 21].

Consolidated-Bathurst Export Ltd. v. Mutual Boiler and Machinery Insurance Co., [1980] 1 S.C.R. 888; 32 N.R. 488, refd to. [para. 22].

Wingtat Game Bird Packers (1993) Ltd. v. Aviva Insurance Co. of Canada et al. (2009), 276 B.C.A.C. 10; 468 W.A.C. 10; 2009 BCCA 343, refd to. [para. 23].

Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada v. Guardian Insurance Co. of Canada et al., [2006] 1 S.C.R. 744; 348 N.R. 307; 211 O.A.C. 363; 2006 SCC 21, refd to. [para. 24].

Counsel:

A.D. Schmit (Chomicki Baril Mah LLP), for the appellants/defendants;

Dave R. Shynkar (Mathieu Hryniuk LLP), for the respondents/plaintiff.

This appeal was heard on February 2, 2011, before Browne, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Edmonton, who delivered the following reasons for judgment on April 26, 2011.

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1 practice notes
  • Gudzinski Estate v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. et al., (2012) 519 A.R. 215
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • November 30, 2011
    ...the aircraft was insured at the time of the crash. The insurer appealed. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at (2011), 516 A.R. 115, allowed the appeal. The court held that Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate at the time of the accident and therefore w......
1 cases
  • Gudzinski Estate v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. et al., (2012) 519 A.R. 215
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • November 30, 2011
    ...the aircraft was insured at the time of the crash. The insurer appealed. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at (2011), 516 A.R. 115, allowed the appeal. The court held that Gudzinski did not have a valid medical certificate at the time of the accident and therefore w......

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