Snowplow accident leads to power surge, small claims decision

Tribunal rules Shuswap resident not entitled to additional compensation

A collision involving a city snowplow and a power pole led to a Small Claims decision in January in favour of the city.

Documents from a civil resolution tribunal state that a City of Salmon Arm snowplow hit a power pole outside the home of resident Holly Kailles, which caused a power surge in her house, damaging several appliances. The accident occurred Jan. 21, 2016.

She received payment for some items from her insurance provider, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, but requested additional funds from the city totalling $2,416.

They included: $800 for increased home insurance premiums over the past two years, $650 for the loss of her claims-free home insurance discount; $66.16 for out-of-pocket expenses not reimbursed by her home insurance; $500 for replacement of her clothes washing machine and $400 for inconvenience.

Read more: Heavy snowfall depletes city budget

Because the snowplow was insured by ICBC, an ICBC employee represented the city, while Kailles represented herself.

The tribunal decided two issues: whether the city owes the applicant money arising from the snowplow incident and, if it does, is Wawanesa liable to pay those damages.

Read more: Residents raise concerns about sidewalk snow removal

In reviewing the evidence, the tribunal noted that Wawanesa reimbursed the applicant for appliance inspection fees and replacement or repairs to her dryer, range, microwave, stove, music keyboard and electronic dog fence. She was also reimbursed for some food and gasoline because the power surge damaged her stove and microwave. The total payout was $2,043.78.

The tribunal decided in favour of the city on Jan. 3 of this year, and Kailles was ordered to pay the city $125.

“The City seeks reimbursement of $125 it spent to file the third party claim against Wawanesa,” states a tribunal document.

In its reasons, the tribunal ruled that because the applicant signed a ‘Proof of Loss’ with Wawanesa, she transferred her claim rights to the company. Wawanesa then reached an agreement with ICBC and, as part of that settlement, Wawanesa signed a form releasing ICBC from further claims regarding the incident.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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