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Facts[]

Jean Berry, a minor, was driving a car which was owned by her father. She was involved in an accident with E.J. Vandepitte (Alice's husband) while Alice was in the car and she was injured. It was found that there was money owing to the appellant for her injuries so E.J. Vandepitte issued an execution to R.E. Berry (Jean's father) for the balance. He refused to pay so Vandepitte, under the provisions of the Insurance Act sued the insurance company directly. Vandepitte was successful at the Supreme Court of British Columbia and at the Court of Appeal for British Columbia but this was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada and Vandepitte appealled to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Preferred Accident Insurance argues that there was no contract between them and Jean Berry, only between them and the father. Vandepitte argues that there was a relationship created both in agency and in trust.

Issue[]

  1. Is there either an agency or trust relationship which entitles the plaintiff to recover from the insurance company?

Decision[]

Appeal dismissed with costs.

Reasons[]

The Council deals with both of the plaintiff's arguments; they find there is no agency as:

  1. there was no intention on the part of R.E. Berry to include Jean on the policy,
  2. there was no authority from Jean to insure on her behalf,
  3. Jean never accepted any insurance made on her behalf, and
  4. there was no consideration given.

On the issue of a trust relationship the Council again states that to create a trust there must be clear intention to create a trust by R.E. Berry and no evidence was adduced to establish the creation of such a trust.

Ratio[]

  • A cestui que trust can sue on a contract made by the trustee for their benefit.
  • There must be clear intention to create a trust in order for a trust relationship to be found.
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