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Legal Speak: Burger joint sign falls on customer’s car, deal reached despite non-liabile insurance claims

Calgary, Alberta — A Calgary driver has finally received compensation after a restaurant sign fell on her car and two separate insurers ruled against her claim.

Julie Moses, the driver in question, told Global News on Tuesday that her car was damaged by a falling sign while paying for an order at local burger joint, Peters’ Drive-In. This occurred in July 14, a period where Calgary saw a slurry of intense rainfall, windstorms and thunderstorms.

Both Moses and the restaurant owner contacted their own insurers and both organizations agreed that the restaurant was not at fault for the falling sign and Moses would have to cover her own repair fees and insurance deductible.

Rob de Pruis, national director of consumer and industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada said this stems from legal technicalities regarding liability and negligence.

“If this sign was dangling by a really small rope or something like that and had been like that for weeks and the risk was obvious that someone could get hurt—then likely we would have had a different result,” he said.

To demonstrate the legal definition of negligence, insurers had to prove that Peters’ Drive-In was aware of the faulty sign, then chose to ignore it or address it improperly. This becomes harder to prove when a sign falls in the middle of a storm.

As of Oct. 4, Moses has been compensated by Peters’ Drive In for the costs incurred.

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