t • VOL. XVII.] EXCHEQUER 'COURT REPORTS. • 301 1917 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF RIGHT OF Nov. 22. ZEPHIRIN GAGNON, SUPPLIANT, AND HIS MAJESTY THE KING, RESPONDENT. Railways—Negligence—Employees' Relief Fund—Validity of con-tract--Estoppel. The agreement of an employee of the Intercolonial Railway, as a condition to his employment, to become a member of the temporary employees' relief and insurance association, and under its constitution and by-laws to accept its benefits in lieu of all claims for personal . injury, is perfectly valid and may lie set up as a complete bar to his action against the Crown for injuries sustained in the course of employment; by accepting the benefits he will be estopped from setting up any claim inconsistent with the rules and regulations. PETITION OF RIGHT to recover damages for personal injuries to an employee cif the Intercolonial Railway. Tried before the Honourable Mr. Justice Audette, at Quebec, November 5 and 6, 1917. Armand Lavergne, for suppliant. P. J. Jolicoeur, for respondent. AUDETTE, J; (November 22, 1917) delivered judgment. The suppliant, by his petition of right, seeks. to recover damages in the sum of $10,521 for bodily injuries sustained by him and which he alleges re-
302 EXCHEQUER COURT REPORTS. [VOL. XVII. 1917 suited from defective machinery, and the incom- GAGNON petence of the foremen and employees of the Inter- TILE KING. colonial Railway, a public work of Canada. Reasons for Judgment. On December 17, 1916, some short time after one o'clock in the afternoon, the suppliant was engaged, with other labourers, in the railway yard of the I.C.R. at Chaudiere, P. Q., in the work of lifting a turn-table with the aid of a derrick,—his work consisting in placing blocks underneath the table as it was being raised. While engaged in this work the hooks, attached to the table, worked from the derrick, suddenly slipped from under the table; the latter fell, pinning the suppliant's right arm between the blocks and the table. For the purposes of this case, it is found unnecessary to go any more into the details of the accident and the causes which occasioned it. The sole question involved in this case can be stated without reciting the details of fact which have given rise to the litigation. It, will be sufficient to state that as a result of the accident herein the suppliant's right arm was amputated three inches below the elbow joint, about 8 to 10 inches of the arm being removed. To this claim for damages the Crown, inter alia, sets up the plea that the suppliant being a member of the I.C.R. Employees' Relief and Insurance Association, it was relieved by the rules and regulations of that association and by the suppliant's agreement on becoming a member thereof, of all liability for the claim now made. At the time the suppliant entered the employ of the T.C.R. he was given (Exhibit C 2) a booklet in-tituled "Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island "Railways Employees' Relief and Insurance Asso-
VOL. XVII.] EXCHEQUER COURT REPORTS. 303 "ciation.—Rules for the guidance of members of the 1917 "Temporary Etployees' Accident Fund." GAG v NO . N Having been given this book, containing the rules THE KING. Rea s for of this insurance association, for the temporary em- Judgomns ent. ployees of the T.C.R., he signed a document or agree- ment in the form of Exhibit B, whereby . he acknowl- edged having, received the booklet in question and consented himself to be bound by it, as 'a condition to his employment, and to abide by the rules and, regulations of the association. Furthermore, the suppliant, at different dates subsequent to the accident, and in compliance' with the rules and regulations of the insurance associa- tibia, was paid and received a certain weekly sick allowance during a period of 26 weeks, for which he duly gave receipts, as appears by Exhibit F. The receipts for .these "sick allowances" contain the following words : "As full of all claims against "said association on account of injury to arm... . "in accordance' with constitution, rules: and regula- "tions." These last words cannot be read otherwise than as being a full confirmation' of that part of the original contract of service, Exhibit B.. The rules and regulations' of the 'association contain the following provisions : "The object of the Temporary Employees' Acci- dent Fund shall be to provide relief to its members "while they are suffering from bodily injury, and "in case of death by accident, to provide a sum ,of " money for the benefit of the family or relatives of "deceased_ members ; all payments being made sub- ject to the constitution, rules and regulations of "the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Rail-"ways Employees' Relief and Insurance Associa- "tion from time to time in force." i
304 EXCHEQUER COURT REPORTS. [VOL. XVII. 1917 "Rule 3. In consideration of the contribution of GAGNON V. "the Railway Department to the Association, the THE KING. "constitution, rules and regulations, and future Bessons for Judgment. "amendments thereto, shall be . subject. to the ap- proval of the Chief Superintendent and the Rail- way Department shall be relieved of all claims for "compensation for injury or death of any member." Having said so much, it becomes unnecessary to express any opinion as to whether or not the suppliant's claim could have been sustained on the ground of negligence. The agreement (Exhibit B) entered into by the suppliant, whereby he became a member of the insurance society and consented to be bound by its rules, was a part of a contract of service which it was competent for him to enter into. And this contract is an answer and a bar to this action, for the restrictive rules are such as an insurance society might reasonably make for the protection of their funds, and the contract as a whole was to a large extent for the benefit of the suppliant and binding upon him. Clement v. London South- • Western Ry. Co.' Such contract of service is perfectly valid and is not against public policy, Griffiths v. Earl of Dud-ley,2 and in the absence of any legislation to the contrary,—as with respect to the Quebec Workmen's Compensation Act,' any arrangement made before or after the accident would seem perfectly valid. Sachet, Legislation sur les Accidents du Travail, Vol. 2, pp. 209 et seq. The present case is in no way affected by the decision in the case Saindon v. The King,' and Miller 1 L.R. 2, Q.B.D. 482. • 2 L.R. 9 Q.B.D. 357. 3 9 Edw. VII., c. 66, s. 19; Art. 7339, R.S. Q. 1909. 415 Can. Ex. 305.
VOL. XVII.] EXCHEQUER ,COURT REPORTS. 305, v. Grand Trunk.1 because in those two cases the 1917 question at issue was with respect to a permanent GAGvNON employee where the moneys and compensation due. THE KING. Reasons for him, under the rules ,and regulations of the insur- Jud gment. ance company, were not taken from the funds to-ward which the'Government or the Crown were con- . tributing.. It is otherwise in the case of a temporary . employee, and I regret to come to the conclusion, following the decision in Conrod v. The King,' that the suppliant's claim is absolutely barred by the condition of his engagement with the I. C. Rÿ. Furthermore, the suppliant having accepted the • weekly sick allowance and given the' receipt there-for in the manner above mentioned, he "is estopped "from setting up any claim inconsistent with those "rules and regulations, and, therefore ; precluded "from maintaining this action. "• Per Sir _ Charles Fitzpatrick.—Conrod v. The Kin g , suprq.3 Therefore the suppliant Vis not entitled to the relief sought by his petition of right. Action dismissed. Solicitor for suppliant ; Armand Lavergne. V Solicitor for respondent : P. J. Jolicoeur. 1 [ 19061 A.C. 187. • 2 49 Can. S.C.R. 577. 3 p. 581-582.
You are being directed to the most recent version of the statute which may not be the version considered at the time of the judgment.