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Santa Claus Law- What if Santa is Injured on the Job?

In the spirit of the upcoming Christmas Holidays, in GRAHAM v. LONDON GUARANTEE & ACCIDENT Co. 1925Canlii378, a case from 1925, the court embarked on an excellent theoretical analysis based on Santa Claus saying at 1045:

I cannot think of any one who has so consistently and persistently followed a definite occupation, or for so long a time as Santa Claus ; and he, as well as any one, may be taken to illustrate the distinction between occupational and non-occupational hazards within the meaning of an accident insurance policy. Now if, upon a Christmas Eve, as he heroically strives' to bring gladness into every home, a chimney coping should give way, and, falling to the ground, Santa Claus is seriously - disabled, or if he should have "a dreadful fall" in ascending or descending an ill-built chimney in some other home, or if, through the crass negligence of a thoughtless parent, the hearth fires are left burning on Christmas Eve, and the picturesque raiment of "the grand old man" is consumed, and his classically magnificent beard sizzled to the size and semblance of a mere goatee (all of which world-circling disasters may Heaven forfend!), these accidental happenings I would solemnly adjudge as hazards of Santa. Claus' occupation, and exempted hazards within the meaning of an accident insurance policy framed as the policy here is. But,' on the other hand, if Santa Claus— resting from his labours "in the off season"—although possibly even then dreaming of greater surprises when Christmas comes, should casually wander through Toy Land in Eaton's or Simpson's or drive about the city in his Rolls-Royce to do honour to the 999 mothers of "Canada's Most Beautiful Child,"—the reindeers being also out of commission till winter comes—and, in either case, sustained an accidental injury, this would not be an injury sustained in the course of or arising out of Santa Claus' occupation: the accident would be attributable to a common non-occupational hazard, and nothing else.


Whether or not Santa Clause would be able to claim on upon the policy would depend on the wording; also the Workers Compensation Board might assume jurisdiction.


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The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.







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