Most snowmobile accidents occur when a driver is riding along a trail or across a body of water, but some personal injury cases involve circumstances that are outside the usual scope of snowmobile “ownership, use or operation” insurance coverage.
In the case of McLean (Litigation Guardian of) v. Jorgenson  O.J. No. 5207, the Court of Appeal for Ontario addressed the issue of whether an insurer had the duty to defend an action by a plaintiff who suffered a below-the-knee amputation, when the defendants’ automobile insurer, TD General Insurance Company denied coverage.
To determine, the court applies a two-part test following the case of Amos v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia  S.C.J. No. 74, and the deciding factor of the case is whether the plaintiff’s injuries arose from ownership, use or operation of the snowmobile.
In the case of McLean (Litigation Guardian of) v. Jorgenson the plaintiff suffered a below-the-knee amputation while holding the rear end of a snowmobile off the ground while another person revved the engine in hopes that it would start better.
Although a non-typical use of the snowmobile, the court concluded that the act of lifting the rear of the snowmobile could not be viewed in isolation and found that, in this case, it was linked to starting and revving the engine.
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