Head-on collision at speed on the wrong side of the road not held a deliberate act – proof by inference (Aus)

The evidence was that a motor cyclist drove his motor cycle at a high speed of about 90 to 100kph on the wrong side of the road in an urban area straight into the front of a truck in daylight.  The court held that this was neither a deliberate act nor a failure to take reasonable precautions.  The court rejected the submissions by the insurer that this was a case of suicide or that at very least that the motor cyclist had reckless disregard to the preservation of his life and therefore the deliberate act exclusion applied.  The court said that there were other reasonable inferences which might explain the collision and gave all sorts of possibilities what else could have happened.

The case demonstrates how difficult it is prove facts by inference when there are other possible explanations for the event.

Cleanaway Waste Management Company v Insurance Australia Limited file no: 4350 of 2018 District Court of Western Australia