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College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) takes action to protect vulnerable MVA victims

Ghostwritten medical reports should not be permitted: Ford

Ghostwritten medical reports are not the same as consensus reports and should not be allowed in medical legal cases, says Toronto orthopaedic spine and trauma surgeon Dr. Michael Ford.

“Unfortunately, ghostwriting gets confused with consensus reports, and they’re not the same at all,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.


Tip to broker leads to undercover auto fraud investigation

As auto insurance premiums go up, Aviva Canada is going after healthcare providers and legal professionals who are conspiring to submit false or inflated claims.

Fraud is a “key” reason auto insurance premiums are rising in Ontario and the government needs to do more to stop it, Aviva said in an April 5 press release. The insurer is calling on the province to “accurately track and report on fraud and our progress in fighting it.”


The Not so Reasonable Cost of Medical Documents

Information is of utmost importance in insurance litigation and obtaining clinical notes and records, medical reports and other medical documentation is an everyday requirement. It is not very often that we see insurance companies pushing back on the costs associated with this necessary task. For the most part, it appears that when a practitioner or facility requests an amount for the purpose of obtaining records, insurers or their counsel usually pay it because the information contained in the records is so vital to the proper management of the claim.


Pedestrians: Protect Yourself and Don’t Become A Target

In 2016, 43 people pedestrians died in traffic related accidents in Toronto. That was the highest number recorded since 2005. A disproportionate number of those killed were over the age of 55, which begs the question as to whether our aging population is a factor in the increase in numbers, or is it that driving has simply become more hectic on Toronto streets. Either way, more needs to be done to curb the current trend.


Humboldt team bus crash is a tragic reminder that we need safer roads

This is how young men die in Canada.

Not gunned down in the streets, not in terror attacks, not going off to war.

They die sitting on a bus, or behind the wheel of a car, on the way to work, or on the way to play, on highways and byways and city streets.

We barely take notice until they die 15 at a time.


Optimal Medication Management for Spinal Cord Injury: A Research Study

Do you provide clinical care or assistance to someone with a spinal cord injury? If so, help researchers learn about your experiences with medication management, and the barriers/facilitators to best medication-related care.


$175,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Brain Injury Leading to Early Onset Dementia

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver REgistry, assessing damages for a traumatic brain injury.

In today’s case (Weaver v. Pollock) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2010 collision that the Defendants accepted responsibility for.  The Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury and ultimately was diagnosed with early onset dementia linked to this injury.


What is a Contingency Fee?

If you have been injured in a collision, the last thing you need is the added burden of trying to find a way to come up with money to hire a lawyer to protect your legal rights and interests. With this reality understood, a considerable number of personal injury lawyers utilize what is known as a contingency fee arrangement.


Grieves v. Parsons, 2018 ONSC 1905 (CanLII)

[1]               This case was a three and one-half week jury trial involving a claim for personal injury by the plaintiff, Jeffrey Grieves, arising out of a motorcycle accident on July 24, 2012.

[2]               On December 12, 2017 the jury returned its verdict and awarded the plaintiff $50,000 for general damages, $61,000 for past lost income, and $90,000 for future lost earnings.

[3]               After taking into account the current deductible provided in the regulations, the $50,000 general damages award would entitle the plaintiff to non-pecuniary damages of $12,615 if he met the statutory threshold.

[4]               While the jury was deliberating, the defendants brought a “threshold motion” for a declaration that the plaintiff’s claim for non-pecuniary loss was barred on the basis that the plaintiff had failed to establish on the evidence that, as a result of the collision, he sustained a permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.

[5]               On January 2, 2018, I released my decision on the threshold motion (Grieves v. Parsons2018 ONSC 26 (CanLII)), and concluded that the plaintiff did not fall within the statutory exception set out in s. 267.5(5) of the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.I.8, and therefore granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for non-pecuniary damages. On this basis the plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages were reduced to zero.


[69]           One factor that increased the plaintiff’s costs was that the defendants did not admit liability for the accident until one week before the trial.

[70]           Another factor to be considered is the amount claimed and the amount recovered in the proceeding (rule 57.01(1)(a)). In this case the plaintiff’s final award was a fraction of the $1 – $1.2 million claim that the plaintiff proposed to the jury.

[71]           I have not been provided with any information relating to any offers to settle made by the plaintiff.

[72]           The total costs must be proportional to the amount awarded, but costs may exceed the award of damages in appropriate circumstances. “Proportionality should not override other considerations, and determining proportionality should not be a purely retrospective inquiry based on the award”: Doyle v Zochem Inc.2017 ONSC 920 (CanLII), at para. 26.

[73]           The medical issues were somewhat complex. The plaintiff’s injuries were not in dispute, but causation was the central issue in the case. In addition to his treating physicians, the plaintiff called expert evidence from an orthopaedic surgeon. The jury was presented with valuations of past and future loss of income from a forensic accountant.

[74]           While other experts were called, I did not find their evidence particularly helpful, and, apparently, neither did the jury. Costs should be reduced on this basis.

[75]           The trial lasted three and one-half weeks. In my view the plaintiff’s case could have been presented more efficiently. For example, the plaintiff’s own physician was taken to virtually every medical record and clinical note in relation to the plaintiff in her possession. Her testimony could have been more focused and much briefer. In addition, the plaintiff’s opening address to the jury resulted in a number of objections and required correcting instructions before the case could proceed.

[79]           In applying the proportionality principle and exercising my discretion in awarding costs based upon what is fair and reasonable, the factors set out in Rule 57.01 and 49.13, and the principles from the appellate courts, I fix the costs as follows: the plaintiff’s costs are fixed at $115,000 for legal fees and $50,000 for disbursements, inclusive of HST, for a total of $165,000, payable within 45 days.