Supreme Court says garage not liable for teen crash in stolen car

A Canada goose walks on the front lawn of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada says a garage owner should not be held responsible for the terrible injuries a teen suffered when he and a friend crashed a car they had stolen from his lot.

In a split 7-2 decision, the court has overturned earlier rulings that found Chad Rankin’s garage in Paisley, Ont., was 37 per cent liable in the 2006 incident.

Court records show the teens had been drinking and smoking marijuana before they stole the vehicle.

One of the teens, then 16, drove the car, although he had no licence and had never driven before.

The 15-year-old passenger was left with catastrophic brain injuries in the ensuing crash.

The Supreme Court majority, in overturning the finding against the garage, found Rankin's business owed no duty of care to the injured teen.


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