Canada, accident, useful purpose, courting the risk, insurance, torts
Thispaper argues that courts tacitly weigh risks againstrewards when constructing the meaning of the term "accident." It suggests the phrase "courting the risk" takes on two distinct meanings. Firstly, at some point, the risks associated with an activity are said to be so substantial as to suggest an insured expected and, thus, courted any resulting losses.. Secondly, a party is deemed to court the risk of. loss if acting solely for the experience of risk, in and of itself,and not for any other redeeming benefit. The author outlines the evolution of the term "accident" in the case law and contrasts the expectations approach with instances where courts show a concern for the utility or redeeming value of an insured's risk-taking. He argues that judges employ an unarticulated useful purpose test, and considers whether this test is reconcilable with present principles of insurance law.
Eric J. Adams, "The Definition of "Accident" in Canadian Coverage Cases and the Unspoken "Useful Purpose" Test" (2009) 32:2 Dal LJ 417.