Author Archives: Admin2

Effects of Insurer Examinations on Medical Assessments for Treatment

Guest Blog by Ruth Volpato   

Effects of Insurer Examinations on Medical Assessments for Treatment

In preface, I am a Registered Nurse (retired) having dedicated the last 20 years of my career in working with motor vehicle accident victims with the goal of reaching maximum recovery and rehabilitation.  My sole focus has been on the welfare of my clients.  Those of you in the rehabilitation industry are aware of the numerous insurer examinations our clients have been faced with over the years.  At this point in time, I am unaware if the insurance model has changed thus decreasing these examinations; however my article is to address the multitude of clients having gone before.  If this pertains to current situations, it is hopeful this article will be of value.

In 2011, while working up to 12 hours per day for the improvement of my clients, I was involved in a major motor vehicle accident.  My thoughts were, “I know how this works, I can handle this, I have been supporting my clients for almost 10 years … piece of cake”.

Wrong!  I experienced firsthand the abruptness, the denials, questioning of my integrity, humiliation, frustration, anger, confusion and failure.  The course of my involvement for my claim lasted almost 8 years.  In that time I underwent scrutiny from my own insurance carrier, the insurance carriers of the other victims (3 in total), and their lawyers.  Given the type of accident, I developed PTSD.  However, as time progressed, the behaviour of my own insurer increased my PTSD ten-fold.  To this day, I experience minimal effects of PTSD due to the accident.  I experience moderate to severe effects of PTSD relative to my insurer.

The term PTSD relates to recurring thoughts of the trauma which can be triggered by similar situations, sounds, smells, senses.  Over the years I have found these triggers occur when in any medical evaluation, assessment or consultation.  These episodes make it very difficult to obtain the help I need by treating medical professionals and their teams. I become defensive, reticent to answer questions for fear of being ridiculed, question the reasons for their questions and provide limited data.   All these reactions do not allow for a complete medical work up to enable helpful treatment. 

When describing symptoms and their manifestations I become defensive which puts up a barrier for open communication. Even though I had been delivering guidance for my patients to be open when in treatment sessions, I failed to be able to do this for myself.

Now, when I am being assessed for treatment I have learned to indicate at the beginning of the session my difficulties in responding.  I ask that they extend some latitude to allow me to become comfortable in their treating environment.  I also bring someone with me as an anchor and a focal point should “the walls” start to manifest themselves.

I have written this missive to encourage open dialogue with patients, family, colleagues, medical professionals and clinical teams.  As always, a return to maximum health and wellbeing is a priority involving everyone.

In health,

Ruth Volpato RN (Ret)

November, 2019  

January 16, 2020

Solutions to relieve pressure of rising auto insurance costs

The solutions to rising auto insurance rates – such as those which most recently hit Albertans – aren’t simple ones, but there are fixes that governments and insurers could implement to bring some relief to consumers, according to an auto expert. 
 
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MAG releases new flowcharts to illustrate latest court reforms

The guide illustrates simplified procedure under rule 76, ordinary pretrial procedure, filing for motions and applications, expert evidence, mandatory mediations and case management. It also includes a detailed breakdown of different paths to dismiss an action for delay. 
 
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Insured died before signing settlement agreement — so is it enforceable?

After a dispute stemming from a 2015 car accident, the late Gerald Riggs participated in a Dec. 17, 2018 mediation. A settlement was reached, with instructions sent to participants on Dec. 19, dictating that the tort insurer would pay the all-inclusive sum of $300,000 and that Intact would pay an all-inclusive sum of $350,000 – plus payment of attendant care, incurred treatment plans, physio, and the rehab support worker’s invoices –until January 31, 2019. 
 
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No ‘Boiler Plate’ Responses Accepted in Insurer Denials – Hedley v. Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, 2019 ONSC 5318

Mr. Hedley was injured in a car accident in March 2014. He sustained lower back injuries and applied to Aviva pursuant to the SABs for benefits. Aviva approved chiropractic and functional abilities assessment. As a result of the assessment and OT submitted a treatment and assessment plan which recommended assistive devices. Aviva responded withing 10 days that it was “unable to determine whether the recommendations are reasonably required for the injuries you received in the motor vehicle accident’ and advised it scheduled an IE. 
 
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Your client’s vehicle is damaged by a massive pothole. Is it covered and is the city liable?

You’re on your way to work minding your own business when all of a sudden you drive over a massive pothole and damage your car. Does your auto insurance cover it and can the city be held liable? 
 
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Howard Levitt: I wouldn’t recommend my profession to anyone anymore. Here’s why

Over my career, I have seen vocations rise and fall. At one time senior executives with lucrative stock option plans were Canada’s highest paid employees, but government regulation put paid to that. Investment bankers had the rooster’s walk for many years, but that profession is dramatically hollowed out. There are far fewer of them and, at every level, they earn much less than they once did. Fresh MBAs volunteer for entry-level positions that once paid six figures. 
 
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What do Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Depression all have in common?

A lot of the clients at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers suffer from Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Depression. It’s not easy because nobody seems to understand these conditions. More on that later. 
 
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The medications that change who we are

They’ve been linked to road rage, pathological gambling, and complicated acts of fraud. Some make us less neurotic, and others may even shape our social relationships. It turns out many ordinary medications don’t just affect our bodies – they affect our brains. Why? And should there be warnings on packets?

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200108-the-medications-that-change-who-we-are?ocid=ww.social.link.twitter

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ODSP 2020 Wednesday, January 22 at 7pm

If your loved one with a disability requires financial help with basic living expenses, including medical expenses, they could be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Understanding how this program works and how to maintain it alongside other financial resources will ensure your loved one continues to receive this support for as long as he or she may need it need it.  
 

January 14, 2020

Could lawyers’ conduct widen rift with medical evaluators?

Independent medical examinations are becoming a litigation “battleground” — and now medical evaluators are turning down work from insurers, says one lawyer. 
 
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‘I was pretty broken’: Man shares journey of learning to walk again after serious car crash

Penner, who was once an avid cyclist and runner, was seriously injured in an Etobicoke crash more than five years ago. He was left with nerve damage, a concussion and fractures all over his body, including the tibia and fibula, clavical, stemum, ribs, vertebra and right hand.  
 
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Could auto liability cover negligent parenting lawsuit?

If you allow your child to ride in a vehicle allegedly driven by an impaired driver, and your child sues you for negligent parenting, does the vehicle liability policy cover you? 
 
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Did the threshold for special awards against insurers just sink lower?

A recent decision of the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) concerning an ice fishing accident in Ontario shows that insurers cannot simply rely on the opinions of medical assessors when determining a claimant’s needs, according to one insurance defence lawyer. 
 
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What happens if you’re in a snowmobile accident?

When the winter season commences, so do the snow sports. For some, this means pulling out their snowmobile and enjoying rides around their property or through the trails. What most people don’t consider, however, is what would happen in the event of a snowmobile accident. The answer depends, largely, on what type of insurance has been purchased. 
 
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Investigation into tow truck drivers charging exorbitant fees leads to recovery of 31 vehicles

Durham police said in a news release on Thursday they launched Project Bondar in October 2019 after receiving numerous complaints from motorists who said they were charged excessive fees for towing their vehicles after collisions.  
 
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Aviva to Appeal Costs Against 84 Year Old Plaintiff in Przyk Decision

Maria Persamperii took on Aviva in 2018. She was 84 years old when injured in an accident. She succeeded in her claim, albeit with very modest damages. The real story to emerge in that case, however, was the decision of the trial Judge to award plaintiff’s counsel, George Bekiaris, costs of $237,018 on the basis that Aviva’s approach to the case had the effect of “discouraging plaintiffs from bringing and pursuing modest-sized claims”. The Judge in Persamperii acknowledged an insurer’s right to pursue whatever strategy they deemed fit but appropriately expressed concern about the adverse implications on access to justice1. 
 
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Pedestrians who are killed are not statistics. We should know their names

Last year 44 people were shot and killed in Toronto. We know every single one of their names. The same can not be said of the 42 pedestrians who were struck and killed by drivers in the city last year. 
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Trauma Survivors Network – Dawne’s Story

I am pleased to share with you how I went from a crash survivor to creating a support group.  One week prior to my crash, I was on vacation in Florida with my boyfriend and I was suddenly jolted awake in the middle of the night with a terrible feeling that something awful had happened to someone close to me. It was a feeling that I had never experienced before and I thought I was going to get a call that someone had passed unexpectedly. I carried this feeling with me for days and I just couldn’t seem to shake this unsettling anxious feeling no matter how hard I tried. One week “to the day” I was involved in a horrific car crash. 
 
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One in two homeless people have suffered a traumatic brain injury: UBC study

More than half of people who are homeless have a lifetime history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a University of British Columbia (UBC)-led study released last month. 
 
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Early concussion treatment tied to faster recovery

(Reuters Health) – Young athletes who get concussions may recover faster when they’re treated within the first week than when they wait longer to get care, a new study suggests. 
 
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A rare case where a ‘special award’ was allowed for victim who was denied attendant care

January 9, 2020

2020 Budget consultations

We are listening to the people of Ontario as we prepare the 2020 Ontario Budget.
We want your input on how the government can improve quality of life for people across the province, while also attracting business investment, creating jobs and improving critical public services such as healthcare and education. Submit by Feb 11, 2020

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Why it’s ‘naïve’ to think car insurance will get cheaper

If the major players in the auto insurance market in Canada could make a list of new year’s resolutions for 2020, it would likely be a long one. Consumers in many provinces would want lower prices, insurers would want more profitability in the marketplace, and brokers would want to give their clients some good news for once. 
 
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Canada: Surprising Special Award Against Insurer

A recent decision of the Licence Appeal Tribunal (“LAT”) indicates that an insurer cannot simply rely on the opinion of an assessor when determining a claimant’s needs. 
 
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Concussion – Feedback

Share your feedback: What does quality care look like for people who have a #concussion? Read the DRAFT quality standard and patient conversation guide and tell us what you think by Jan 27.
 
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Collateral Benefits: An Update and Refresher

Protected Defendants in a motor vehicle action are entitled to deduct, from a damages award, certain payments a Plaintiff receives before trial, commonly referred to as collateral benefits. 
 
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These are some of Ontario’s 5 worst drivers

Our critique last month exposing the five worst drivers in Quebec used dashcam videos from Facebook to show you motorists who really shouldn’t be granted access to La Belle Province’s highways and bi-ways. 
 
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Why phone evidence fell short in this triple-collision fraud lawsuit

An insurer suspicious about a vehicle accident obtains evidence that the occupants of the different vehicles were talking by phone to one another. 
 
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Government of Ontario Protecting the Health Care System from Fraud 

Ontario is protecting the health care system against fraud by ensuring the final transition to a more secure photo health card. As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) services.  
 
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‘People live in fear’: What the auditor general’s report could mean for disability support in Ontario

According to the auditor general’s annual report, tabled in the legislature on December 4, the average number of ODSP recipients increased 50 per cent over the past decade (in 2018-19, more than half a million people received income support); during that time, Ontario’s population rose by just 12 per cent. It also found that more than 40 per cent of applicants to the $5.4 billion program “were confirmed as disabled by the Ministry after a cursory review of their application” and that 80 per cent of applicants found to be disabled “were approved for benefits for life without setting a future medical review to confirm they still meet the definition of a person with a disability.” 
 

January 7, 2020

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Consultation. Submit your comments by February 9, 2020   

The College is currently reviewing its Third Party Reports and Medical Expert: Reports and Testimony policies. These policies set out expectations for physicians who: complete or prepare third party reports, conduct independent medical examinations, and provide medical expert reports and testimony. The reports, examinations and testimony are for purposes other than the provision of health care (e.g. for insurance benefits, or in respect of workplace issues, attendance in educational programs, legal proceedings, or other third party process). We are inviting feedback at this preliminary stage to help inform our review of the policies. 

Complete the brief online survey.
Post your comments on the consultation discussion page and/or read the feedback.

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Unintentional Auto Insurance Fraud – How It Happens, How To Prevent It

Buying car insurance is not fun, nor is it remotely rewarding in any way. Most of us require some gentle arm twisting from the Ministry of Transportation to do it (you can’t get your vehicle registered without it). 
 
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Social inflation: how is it hurting insurance?

Social inflation is one of the latest buzzwords in insurance. It is used by insurers to describe the rising costs of insurance claims resulting from things like increasing litigation, broader definitions of liability, more plaintiff-friendly legal decisions, and larger compensatory jury awards. 
 
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Is no-fault auto insurance the panacea?

No-fault insurance is not a magic bullet that is going to solve the auto liability problem, but it can be helpful to insurers, provided that the coverage is not too generous, said the head of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer. 
 
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Our Courts often require Facebook Posts to be produced as Evidence in Personal Injury Lawsuits 

Plaintiffs in personal injury actions may be ordered to submit their private Facebook posts or other social media materials, if a judge finds that the plaintiff’s posts may be relevant to the issues being decided.  In personal injury litigation where a plaintiff is seeking damages for impairments that they allege have caused a reduced ability to function and a loss of enjoyment in life, the plaintiff’s online photos are commonly found to be relevant to the plaintiff’s claim of injury.  
 
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Don’t Start Crossing When the Pedestrian Countdown Has Commenced!

Many of us consider the pedestrian countdown or the associated flashing “don’t walk” pedestrian hand signal as an alert to cross quickly or to speed up as the light is about to change. 
 
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What is a litigation guardian? Who needs one? Should I be one?

Unfortunately, serious injuries can happen to anyone, including individuals who would legally be considered to be “parties under a disability”. A “party under a disability” is a person who does not have the legal capacity to instruct legal counsel. This includes infants, children, young adults under the age of 18, as well as individuals who either before their injuries or as a result of their injuries lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions. 
 
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Patient desperately needs his health records, but disgraced doctor won’t give them up

The caregiver of a London man with Huntington’s disease says she’s still waiting for disgraced neurologist Harvey Christopher Hyson to provide medical records she says are needed to ensure Darrin Smyth gets proper care. 
 
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Change is Constant – Why Resist It?

A few years ago I volunteered at a chronic pain program by assisting with an after-program book study.  This involved a group of program graduates getting together weekly to read and discuss the book A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle.  I was amazed at the transformations in attitude, beliefs, and thoughts that came from people reading and discussing this very impactful novel.  In fact, some of the benefits we witnessed, and the things people discussed were revolutionary, and I would even argue evolutionary. 
 
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ODSP needs support, not criticism

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s recent analysis of the province’s welfare program for the disabled has added more fuel to fears that cuts are coming for those who rely on the program’s meagre supports. 
 
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Can treating poverty change a child’s brain?

Kimberly Noble, a neuroscientist and pediatrician at Columbia University, clicked a remote on a TED Talks stage in New York last January and a screen beside her displayed what looked like a craggy, grey leftover snowbank. The image was an average of the brains of 1,099 children and adolescents she and her collaborators studied for a 2015 paper that received enormous attention. 
 

CPSO is currently reviewing its Third Party Reports and Medical Expert: Reports and Testimony policies

 

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Consultation

Have your say about IMEs (Third Party Insurer Medical Examinations aka IEs, DMEs) and how your experience shapes your opinion about the current regulatory oversight of insurer doctors who work in the Ontario auto insurance system.

Submit your comments by February 9, 2020   

The College is currently reviewing its Third Party Reports and Medical Expert: Reports and Testimony policies. These policies set out expectations for physicians who: complete or prepare third party reports, conduct independent medical examinations, and provide medical expert reports and testimony. The reports, examinations and testimony are for purposes other than the provision of health care (e.g. for insurance benefits, or in respect of workplace issues, attendance in educational programs, legal proceedings, or other third party process). We are inviting feedback at this preliminary stage to help inform our review of the policies.

 View the current Third Party Reports policy. 

Complete the brief online survey.
Post your comments on the consultation discussion page and/or read the feedback.

January 2, 2020

2020 Automobile Insurance Indexation Amounts

This guidance publishes amounts related to auto insurance claims that are subject to indexation under the Insurance Act (“the Act”) and its regulations.   
 
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Top 5 Canadian court rulings of 2019 for P&C insurance

Tragedies, mishaps and financial disasters often lead to court disputes, resulting in rulings from judges. Sometimes judges disagree with one another and appeals get filed with higher courts, but the end results often provide lessons for the industry. 
 
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Do I Have to Provide a Recorded Statement to a Claims Adjuster?

After an accident, the insurance company will investigate the claim and will want to find out more information about how the accident occurred. A claims adjuster will likely reach out to you to ask for a recorded statement. The process of providing a statement is not always straightforward. Your statement may be used against you to harm your ability at recovering fair compensation. 
 
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New Simplified Procedure Rules for Personal Injury Claims starting January 1, 2020

Personal Injury Lawyers across Ontario are all talking about the dramatic changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure which take place on January 1, 2020.

The most notable change is that being made to Simplified Procedure.

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Opinion: The driver who killed the Humboldt Broncos received too harsh a sentence

In 2019, Canada’s criminal justice system faced an unusual test: a defendant so distraught over the catastrophic consequences of his small misdeed, he refused to mount any defence — though defences were available — and instructed his lawyer to make no recommendation on sentencing. 
 
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Is the driver liable for an accident when a passenger grabs the wheel? – McKay v. Park, 2019 ONCA 659 (CanLII)

Ms. Park was driving her car when during an argument Mr. Hnatiuk reached over from the passenger seat and grabbed the steering wheel almost immediately causing an accident colliding with a car carrying Ms. McKay. 
 
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Towing after a crash is normally covered by your insurance company. But if you sign a blank contract with a towing company or body shop, you could be on the hook for whatever they charge. 
 
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Allan Gordon, 75, was arrested on Friday and charged with five counts of sexual assault, the Toronto Police Service said in a news release. Police expressed concern there may be more victims. 
 
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MANDEL: Paraplegic employee sues Apple for failing to accommodate his needs

Confined to a wheelchair since he was injured in a car accident as a child, Robert Shaw had worked for Apple since 2011 and was told accommodations would be in place when he transferred to their Sherway Gardens store in late 2017. 
 
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Renfrew brain injury patient faces ‘lifetime wait’ for proper care

On weekends, Ken Rekowski gets a ride down Highway 138 to his mom’s farmhouse, for barbecues in the summer and TV and games in the winter.
By the evening, though, he’s back in his bed at the Renfrew Victoria Hospital.
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Smokers past and present ‘live in more pain’

The findings are based on an analysis of data from more than 220,000 people conducted by UCL.
The researchers say the reason why is unknown, but could include smoking causing permanent changes in the body. 
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Class actions 101: What you need to know

Class-action lawsuits allow groups of people to seek justice against a defendant who is accused of causing loss or harm to others through product liability, privacy breaches, consumer protection issues, environmental accidents, mass personal injury, institutional abuse, and labour and employment issues.https://www.theloop.ca/ctvnews/class-actions-101-what-you-need-to-know/

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It’s about that word ‘reasonable’ and what the legal meaning of the word is all about.

*Supreme Court of Canada grants citizenship to two sons of Russian spies  

The case gave the top court the opportunity to address criticism from academics, lawyers and even sitting judges of its approach to administrative law. This vast area of the law sets the terms under which Canadians may challenge the rulings of decision-making authorities from cabinet ministers to professional bodies to refugee boards. At issue is how much the courts should defer to the rulings of expert bodies.

*The Standard of Review (taken from Vavilov in the “Administrative Law Trilogy”)

Decisions made by governments, or those acting on their behalf, are called “administrative decisions.” They are part of “administrative law.” Most legal decisions that affect people are administrative decisions, not court ones.

*Standard Of Review Of Administrative Decisions: How The Supreme Court’s New Decision Applies In Ontario 

Section 11(1) of the Licence Appeal Tribunal Act indicates that a party may appeal a decision or order to the Divisional Court. However, certain appeals are only permitted on questions of law. This includes appeals relating to matters under the Insurance Act.
Therefore, for statutory accident benefits claims, appeals are only permitted on questions of law, and the standard of review is correctness. For questions of fact and mixed fact and law, a party can bring an application for judicial review, and the standard of review is reasonableness.  http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/879426/court+procedure/Standard+Of+Review+Of+Administrative+Decisions+How+The+Supreme+Courts+New+Decision+Applies+In+Ontario  
Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j46kb
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Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers P.C. v. Yu, 2019 ONSC 7387 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j46kz
 
[10]      In the case at bar the Minor’s case has been settled and the fees associated with that claim have been paid. As Gluckstein readily acknowledges, the Minor’s file was separate and distinct from Yu’s file. In those circumstances, then, and in accordance with the cases filed by Yu, this file belongs to Yu. The argument by Gluckstein that it should not be produced is grounded on the fact that the file is being requested within the context of an assessment of Yu’s file. As such, it is an abuse of process. I cannot accept that position.
 
[11]      Gluckstein is obligated on request to provide the complete file of the Minor. Yu is entitled to have it and an order will be made to disclose it.
 
[12]      Further, it is not up to Gluckstein to determine relevancy. Upon receipt of the complete file of the Minor it may very well be that there is no relevance to the Yu assessment. On the other hand it will be Yu’s review of the file that may potentially uncover relevant documents. Unless he has the complete file, he cannot make that determination.
 
[13]      I am also satisfied that Gluckstein ought to provide Yu’s complete file. Yu has raised concerns about Gluckstein’s accounts and retainer agreements and ultimately the fees and disbursements charged on the Yu file and the Minor’s file. Yu is entitled to see the complete file. It has relevance to the September 16, 2020 motion and assessment of fees.

December 19, 2019

Clarity in Claims against Adjusters in their Personal Capacity

A recent decision of Justice Perell (Burns v. RBC Life Insurance Co., 2019 ONSC 6977) provides some welcome clarity on the issues of whether insurance adjusters owe a duty of good faith to an insured independent of any duty owed by the insurer and the personal liability of insurance adjusters.  Although claims of this nature have diminished markedly in recent times, they remain a concern and a vexing issue for claims adjusters (and the insurers who employ them).
 
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How does Canada’s justice system fare on a global scale?

Comparing justice systems in different countries is understandably difficult, but it’s something that the World Justice Project has tried to do for the past decade, through its annual Rule of Law Index. ARAG CEO Jo-Anne MacDonald takes a closer look at this year’s report to see how Canada fares.
 
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Applicant determined to be CAT impaired on basis of Marked impairment – Applicant vs. Toronto Transit Commission, 2019 CanLII 101715 ON LAT -009821/AABS

The Applicant was struck by a streetcar while crossing the street as a pedestrian sustaining physical injuries. The Applicant also made claims for psychological, emotional and behavioural impairments which have resulted in concentration issues, irritability, anxiety, stress, depression, sleep issues, headaches and suicidal ideations since. He argues that he is now CAT impaired. ON this basis he sought benefits from the TTC pursuant to the Schedule.
 
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How profitable have Canadian P&C insurers been so far this year?

Canada’s property and casualty insurers posted moderate profitability in the first nine months of 2019, but poor underwriting results and high loss ratios linger, notes an executive from the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC).
 
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2020 Budget consultations

We are listening to the people of Ontario as we prepare the 2020 Ontario Budget.
We want your input on how the government can improve quality of life for people across the province, while also attracting business investment, creating jobs and improving critical public services such as healthcare and education.
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Cannabis and driving study casts doubt on zero-tolerance limits for THC

People using a driving simulator showed no signs of impairment a day after they smoked cannabis, though they still tested positive for THC, its main psychoactive component, a recently-published paper says.
 
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The family behind OxyContin pocketed $10.7 billion from Purdue Pharma. Meet the Sacklers, who built their $13 billion fortune off the controversial opioid.

The pharmaceutical company behind OxyContin spent the past decade in crisis as lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis piled up, but the billionaire family that owns it only got richer.
 
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LifeLabs hack: What Canadians need to know about the health data breach

A data breach at LifeLabs, potentially affecting up to 15 million Canadians, was revealed Tuesday.
The company, which performs medical lab tests, apologized for the security breach in a statement, adding that it was first discovered several weeks ago.
 

The hidden cost of Ontario auto accident injuries

More than half a million Ontarians receive some form of government disability support and an advocate for claimants suggests many of these are caused by motor vehicle accident injuries.

“At the end of the day, unpaid claimants don’t just go away. They end up on public support,” said Rhona DesRoches, chair of the board of FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform, in a recent interview with Canadian Underwriter.

DesRoches was commenting on the annual cost to taxpayers of running the Ontario Disability Support Program. That cost rose 75%, from $3.1 billion in 2008/09 to $5.4 billion last year, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk wrote in her annual report, released Dec. 4. The province’s population hit 14.56 million this past July.

 
 

December 17, 2019

The hidden cost of Ontario auto accident injuries

“At the end of the day, unpaid claimants don’t just go away. They end up on public support,” said Rhona DesRoches, chair of the board of FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform, in a recent interview with Canadian Underwriter
 
 
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Doug Downey reveals strategy of new lawyer regulation, legal aid plan

 
An expansive list of changes to the justice system will require more accountability from lawyers — but will also hopefully ease some regulatory burden, says Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey. 
 
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Class Actions Changes In Ontario: You’d Better Hurry Up

Ontario’s Attorney General has proposed a bevy of changes to the provincial justice system in Bill 161, the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2019. Changes are being proposed to 20 statutes, amongst them the Class Proceedings Act, 1992, the statute that governs class actions in Ontario. 
 
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Is there a doctor in the court? Psychologist’s evidence is not good enough for verbal threshold, court rules

When a driver is sued by an accident victim, a psychologist does not qualify as a “physician” under Ontario’s verbal threshold, a judge said in a ruling released Wednesday in favour of Aviva. 
 
 
See: Mundinger v. Ashton, 2019 ONSC 7161 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j3w6c
Not at all what the Court of Appeal said only a few months ago in Rodrigues v. Purtill, 2019 ONCA 740 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j2hbh
Rodrigues v. Purtill, 2018 ONSC 3102 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hsqbn
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Ontario needs to fix the ‘dooring’ loophole

The Toronto police keep statistics on it, and insurance companies consider “dooring” — a crash caused by a driver opening a car door into a cyclist — to be a traffic collision covered by accident insurance. 
 
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Canadian healthcare services provider acquires AssessMed

Lifemark Health Group (LHG) has acquired AssessMed, an independent medical examination services provider for auto insurers, as part of its strategy to diversify its medical assessment services across Canada. 
 
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BC attorney general puts a stop to ICBC rate application

Attorney general David Eby asked the insurer to delay its rate application until February of next year. The official explained in a statement that the delays are necessary in order to allow more time for two planned reforms to be implemented. 
 
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Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Mandate Letter

It is more important than ever for Canadians to unite and build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient country. The Government of Canada is the central institution to promote that unity of purpose and, as a Minister in that Government, you have a personal duty and responsibility to fulfill that objective.