This case was heard in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
An oil spill occurred on property owned by Garden View Restaurant Limited ("Garden View") after a pipeline was vandalized. The property included two residential rental units, and in the aftermath of the spill Garden View arranged for extensive testing and remediation work to be carried out on the property. When Garden View sought compensation from its insurer, Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Company ("Portage"), the insurance company denied liability.
After considering Garden View’s claim and its policy agreement with Portage, the Court held that Portage was not liable for the expenses that Garden View had incurred. Garden View’s insurance policy covered damages to the insured “building,” but not to soil beneath and around the building. Although Garden View argued that the doctrine of “imminent peril” should apply—that is, that Portage should compensate expenses that were incurred to prevent "inevitable" future damage from occurring—the Court held that there was not enough evidence to prove that the building or its occupants were in any immediate danger. Garden View’s claim was therefore dismissed.
Garden View appealed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. After consideration, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the lower court and dismissed the appeal.
To read about this case in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, go to Garden View Restaurant Ltd. v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Company, 2014 NSSC 447 (CanLII).