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Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 4:20 PM

SCC says psychiatric diagnosis not a prerequisite to mental injury claims Russell Brown

Tort victims may recover damages for their mental injuries, without proving that they have a medically recognized psychiatric or psychological illness or condition, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 9-0 decision which may open the door wider for psychological damages claims. ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 1:02 PM

PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES - Psychological injuries - Cognitive impairment - Personality change - Arising subsequent to incident

Appeal from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal setting aside a decision awarding to Saadati $100,000 in non-pecuniary damages for a psychological injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident. In July 2005, Saadati’s tractor-truck was struck by a vehicle driven by Moorhead. Saadati appeared at the time to have been uninjured. This accident was the second in a series of five motor vehicle collisions involving Saadati between January 2003 and March 2009, inclusive. Saadati had suffered chronic pain since the first accident, which was later aggravated by the third accident. In 2007, Saadati commenced an action in negligence against Moorhead and the other respondents. The respondents collectively admitted liability for the accident, but took the position that no damage had been suffered. The trial judge concluded that Saadati had not demonstrated any physical injury, but found that the accident had caused him “psychological injuries, including personality change and cognitive difficulties”. This conclusion was based upon the testimony of friends and family to the effect that, after the accident, Saadati’s personality had changed for the worse. The trial judge awarded Saadati $100,000 for non-pecuniary damages. The British Columbia Court of Appeal set aside the award after it concluded that Saadati had not proven a medically recognized psychiatric or psychological illness or condition through expert medical opinion evidence. The Court of Appeal also observed that, in awarding damages for mental injury, the trial judge had erred by deciding the case on the basis of a claim that had not been pleaded or argued by Saadati. ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

Court upholds award for car crash victim against Ontario municipality Paul Pape

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that a municipality was negligent for failing to ensure a road was snow free and affirmed a $12 million damage award to a woman who lost control of her car and suffered devastating injuries in a crash. ... [read more]

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 7:07 AM

HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES - Liability - Negligence

Appeal by the defendants from the trial judgment finding them liable for damages suffered by the respondent from a suicide attempt and from the award of future care costs. The respondent had been certified under the Mental Health Act and was suspected to be suicidal. He suffered a serious brain injury when he attempted to hang himself in the bathroom of the defendant hospital’s emergency ward. The trial judge found the hospital liable under the Occupiers Liability Act and in negligence for failing to take reasonable steps to either ensure that the bathroom design was changed to be ligature-proof or more easily monitored in advance of suicidal patients being allowed unmonitored access to it, or to institute policies to ensure that suicidal patients could not be in the bathroom unmonitored or uninterrupted for any length of time that could allow for a hanging approaching five minutes before rescue. The trial judge found that the nurses who were on duty in the unit at the time of the incident had failed to meet nursing standards of care in losing track of the respondent and allowing him uninterrupted access to the bathroom for at least five minutes. One nurse had also fallen below nursing standards in not knowing how to unlock the bathroom door, which added to the delay in getting to the respondent. In assessing damages, the trial judge adopted the total lifestyle approach. The appellants disputed the judge’s allowance of $43,000 per annum for the cost of a support worker to check on the respondent in his apartment two times per day. The appellants argued no medical expert suggested the four hours per day of support care awarded by the trial judge. At the time of trial, the respondent was working part-time and able to take public transit. ... [read more]

Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:54 AM

You’re not buying an insurance policy, you’re buying the right to sue

Insurance companies, the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), and The Toronto Star have been making a lot of noise about personal injury lawyers. The perception is that personal injury lawyers are a predatory bunch, motivated only by selfish financial interests. Ambulance chasers. Bottom feeders. But the role of the personal injury lawyer is to fight with the insurance company, to oblige them to honour the policy. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

ICBC’s anti-fraud advertising: purely educational or jury interference? | Sandra Kovacs

Earlier this year British Columbia’s public auto insurer, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, released a new “anti-fraud” TV commercial featuring an adorable ginger-haired little boy wearing his dad’s hard hat, standing at the front of his elementary school classroom, delivering his presentation on Career Day: My dad’s a carpenter. He builds houses. But he’s not working right now, because he got hurt in a car crash. So now, we go mountain biking together almost every day! And he says he’s going to make a whole bunch of money, too. And now, he’s building a tree house in our backyard!” ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:33 AM

Toronto Region changing personal injury jury case schedules Shane Henry

Starting this fall, personal injury lawyers in Toronto will be operating under a new jury trial sitting pilot program. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

Court of Appeal case provides clarity around litigation guardian duties Stuart Zacharias

The Ontario Court of Appeal on May 12 overturned a lower court in a case involving an infant who sustained brain injuries in a car accident. A motion to list the City of Sudbury as a defendant in the case was dismissed on the grounds that the Municipal Act notice wasn’t given in time by the infant’s litigation guardian. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 3:24 PM

B.C. Court of Appeal dismisses former CFL player’s concussion lawsuit Robyn Wishart

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has dismissed a lawsuit by a former Canadian Football League (CFL) player against the league after he alleged it failed to provide safe working conditions when he sustained a head injury while playing football in 2012. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 9:42 AM

Neinstein's Embury elected to OTLA board of directors

Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers has announced that Duncan Embury, head of Neinstein’s medical malpractice group, has been elected to the board of directors of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA). ... [read more]