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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101440
Experience:  Lawyer
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I had an employee who took a work truck with out permission

Customer Question

I had an employee who took a work truck with out permission to go hunting while drinking. The vehicle was not equipped with an interlock device, which is why he took this vehicle instead of the pickup which is equipped with an interlock, as his intentions were to go hunting and drink his 12 pack of beer.
He later that night rolled the truck off a bridge into a creek, destroying the truck.
As he was on his own at the time he left the scene of the accident, and returned to his hotel room, and notified us 5 hours later.
As he had already left the scene, the rcmp stated they cannot prove he was drinking in the vehicle, although we found an empty case of beer in the front seat. We also witnessed him remove 2 rifles from the vehicle, as well we dragged the creek today and found his double barrel sawed off shotgun (which we turned in to the rcmp).
We were advised to take this to civil court.
The value of the truck is $150,000
Plus probably an additional $10,000 for lost and damaged equipment that was in or attached to the truck
The recovery of the vehicle cost roughly $8000
And there will likely be cost associated with the environmental cleanup of the creek.
He has now quit, and is trying to claim that he was working at the time of the accident, although we know otherwise as we had talked to him on the phone hours prior to the accident when he informed us he was out hunting with his uncle.
His initial claim was that he had one beer, but when we later found the empty case he suggested it may have been 3 beer.
He also claimed that the accident was caused by a moose darting across the road, which we had proven false as there were no tracks on or near the road, as well he had more than enough time to stop the vehicle.
His next claim was that he fell asleep, to which I believe is also false, due to the tracks on the shoulder of the road that indicated he corrected the vehicle from
Driving over the right shoulder and then straight across the road and over the bridge, also there were no signs of braking on or near the bridge approach.
We are awaiting the decision from ICBC, but would like some advice.
David ****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Are you saying ICBC may not cover this?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
His license requires he has an interlock device.The truck he took, was not supposed to be driven by him, although because of the tooling and equipment equipped on the truck(crane, air compressor, welder, inverter, toolbox) he did have access to the truck, but as he had agreed to did not have permission to drive the truck, especially after hours hunting or drinking.He was provided a pickup that was equipped with the ignition lock, which for obvious reasons he chose not to drive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Any advice
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

But are you saying they are saying he had it with permission so you may not be covered?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The rcmp said that because he is an employee he would have access to all our company vehicles.ICBC is trying to suggest implied consent due to him previously driving the truck for the purposes of work.Although this truck is not insured for anything but work, and being a Dodge Ram 5500 with a $70,000 toolbox crane and air compressor is obviously not purposed for anything but work. He admits to us that he knows he wasn't allowed to drive that truck.
I have a recorded conversation between him and myself where he states he was drinking beer and hunting, but is adamant he fell asleep.Also notable is the drivers side was upside down and submerged under water, he was not buckled in, and does not have a single injury to suggest he was even in the vehicleHe claims he was thrown into the backseat as the truck went through the cement barriers and rolled into the creek.
The impact with the cement barriers, we think would have sent him into the windshield, and as he drives with the steering wheel down nearly on his lap, it doesn't make sense that he would have been thrown into the back seat, especially with the seats and headrests in their up right position, they nearly touch the roof.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

If ICBC doesn't cover you then and you most assuredly have a very strong case against this employee. But, does he have that kind of money?

In my view suing him is a last resort and you need to press ICBC (perhaps even have a lawyer do so) to cover you because this is essentially an employee who stole your vehicle and then was in this terrible accident.