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Personal Injury

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Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 08:26 AM

Tort defendants responsible for accident benefit arbitration costs

Access to justice is being denied for injured Ontario motorists as a result of the mandated use of the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) as the exclusive means to resolve all accident benefit disputes given that the LAT does not allow a claimant to recover any dispute costs. But, thankfully, the courts have found a back-door way to award arbitration costs to injured motorists as part of tort cost awards. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 09:18 AM

LIABILITIES OF MUNICIPALITY - Negligence - Duty of care - Types - Property maintenance and operation - Highways

Appeal by the defendant County of Lennox and Addington (County) and Town of Greater Napanee (Town) from the finding of liability and award of damages made against them in relation to a motor vehicle accident. The respondent Leslie Lloyd (LL) suffered serious injuries when she collided with a propane truck on a curve in the road. LL suffered serious permanent disabilities affecting her mobility, speech, dexterity, cognition and overall functioning. The County was the owner of the road on which the accident occurred and the Town was responsible for its winter maintenance pursuant to a 1998 agreement between the appellants. At the time of the accident, it was snowing heavily and the road was slippery and snow-covered. Although the plows had been called out for road maintenance and two plow drivers indicated that section of road had received maintenance, there was no evidence that the road had been plowed, sanded or salted. The judge found that at the time of the accident, the section of road was in a state of non-repair. He further found that the Town failed to show that it undertook reasonable efforts to address a condition of non-repair. He went on to conclude that the condition of non-repair caused or contributed to LL’s injuries. He found that the driver of the propane truck, with whom the respondents had settled, was partially liable for the accident and that LL was also partly at fault. He apportioned 60 per cent liability to the appellants, 30 per cent to the propane truck driver and 10 per cent to LL. He assessed the respondents’ damages at $4 million, including $2 million for attendant care costs. He also awarded the respondents costs of $750,000. The appellants appealed, arguing that the trial judge erred in his finding of liability and in his interpretation and application of their duty under the Municipal Act to clear roads of snow and ice. They also appealed the award of damages for attendant care costs and the costs of the action. Finally, they claimed that the judge exhibited bias against them. ... [read more]

Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 07:33 AM

Escalators not always a walk in the park

“An Escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out of Order Sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.” – Mitch Hedberg.  The above quote by the late comedian Mitch Hedberg indicates, as many believe, that escalators are just moving stairs. However, when walking on an escalator, people are exposed to the potential of tripping and falling. The Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) reported that from 2012 to 2014 there were more than 800 injuries associated with escalator passengers in Ontario, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that 75% of escalator injuries in the U.S. resulted from falls. ... [read more]

Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 07:04 AM

Ontario court rules Starbucks ‘occupier’ of adjacent sidewalk in personal injury case Murray Tkatch

Commercial establishments that rely on a portion of municipal property to welcome customers should take note of an Ontario Court of Appeal decision released last week. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 04, 2017 @ 08:42 AM

Patients First Act becomes law in Ontario

On Dec. 8, 2016, the Patients First Act (Patients First) received royal assent. Patients First could pave the way for unprecedented intervention in the governance of health service providers (HSPs). ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 @ 07:11 AM

Contingency fees ensure access to justice

Contingency fees, where lawyers charge a percentage of the damages recovered, are synonymous with access to justice. This fact has been repeated by numerous Courts at all levels. So why are contingency fees recently under attack on numerous fronts, and why would anyone want to restrict access to justice? ... [read more]

Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

B.C. appeal court upholds negligence ruling against hospital, nurses Barbara Webster-Evans

In upholding a lower court’s awarding of damages to a man who suffered a permanent brain injury after attempting suicide at a downtown Vancouver hospital, British Columbia’s Court of Appeal has relied on the evidentiary doctrine of subsequent repair, according to veteran Ontario civil litigator James Morton. ... [read more]

Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 08:40 AM

Bridging the chasm between Big Law and clients | Julius Melnitzer

This is not fake news: “Not a single client interviewed was satisfied with what law firms provide.” ... [read more]

Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 05:24 PM

Law society approves absolute cap of $25,000 on referral fees Mercer top

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) on April 27 approved a fixed cap of $25,000 on referral fees. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 08:49 AM

Privacy laws struggle with ‘smartphones on wheels’ WiFi car

In late March 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) appeared before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications to discuss some of the privacy issues associated with connected and automated vehicles. Over the past few years, the OPC and other organizations have been studying the privacy concerns surrounding connected and automated cars. However, as of yet, there are no comprehensive policies addressing privacy and modern automobiles. ... [read more]