• FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education

Latest News Articles

FAIR does not accept responsibility for comments, opinions, statistical information etc. associated with the links listed below. Any opinions, points of view, etc. are not necessarily shared by FAIR.

For a complete list of recent articles, please go to our 'Media Articles' page under 'In the News'.
We are updating our site and we appreciate your patience.

Ontario courts

Ontario courts
 

Ministry of the Attorney General – Court Services

 

Civil Cases: Suing and Being Sued in the Superior Court of Justice

 
Currently, the Ministry has no central database where current and past cases can be accessed. Certain judgments from all levels of court in Ontario are available online through the Canadian Legal Information Institute  (Canlii). Most Ontario Court of Appeal decisions are available online at the Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) website.
 
Car accident claims courts (quasi)
 

Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT)
Automobile Accident Benefits Service (AABS)

 
LAT (now listed as OLAT) decisions can be found on Canlii here: 
 

Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)

In Ontario, automobile insurance is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance.
 
As of April 1, 2016, FSCO no longer accepts applications for mediation, neutral evaluation and arbitration. There is a database of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) decisions that are case law and the unit continues to work through the hearings backlog. Decisions can be accessed here: http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/drs/Pages/arbitration_appeal_decisions.aspx where you’ll find instructions on how to get a password. 

March 1, 2019

A kick-off to the IBC Fraud Prevention month. Always starts with an inflated amount for fraud. First $1.2 billion, then $1.6 and now magically it is $2 billion dollars! Fraud abounds but not where the insurers are looking – hint, their own back yard!
 
Stopping Auto Insurance Fraud is Left Up to Consumers

Auto insurance fraud is a $2 billion per year problem in Canada, and it’s mostly up to the consumer to solve it.

https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/stopping-auto-insurance-fraud-is-left-up-to-consumers/

____________________________________________

Car insurance rate hikes hitting 25% for some New Brunswick drivers

New Brunswick’s largest auto insurance providers are having some early success convincing the province’s insurance board they need substantial rate hikes from motorists this year. 
 
____________________________________________

February 28, 2019

Insurance brokers have duty to inform clients of optional products

“There have been significant cuts to auto insurance benefits over the past couple of years and some of the protections of a basic auto insurance policy have been stripped away,” says McLeish, a partner with McLeish Orlando LLP. “As a result, brokers should have an obligation to inform clients of optional uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage when clients’ policies are up for renewal.” 
 
_________________________________________________________________

Why Friday is the most dangerous day to drive on Hwy. 401

A CBC analysis of traffic data collected over a recent five-year period shows more collisions occur on Highway 401 on Fridays than on any other day of the week. 
 
_____________________________________________________________

SCC rules lawyers can be liable for client referrals that go bad

In a cautionary tale for lawyers who refer clients to other service providers, the Supreme Court of Canada has 8-1 dismissed the appeal of a Montreal lawyer and his firm from a judgment below which holds them liable for the full $6.8 million their client lost after they unwittingly referred her to a financial adviser who later turned out to be a fraudster running a Ponzi scheme. 
 
______________________________________________________________

College of physicians overstepping its bounds: Shekter

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) rules on complaints that are outside its authority, says Toronto health lawyer Brooke Shekter, who frequently represents health professionals before their regulatory bodies, including the CPSO. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Pedestrian & Cyclist Deaths: A Major Public Health Issue

Listeners of CBC’s Sunday Edition recently heard Michael Enright’s short but scathing essay on pedestrian deaths in Canada’s large cities such as Toronto. In it, Enright suggests that the problem with road deaths is that “nobody cares”. 
 
The real cost (just the victim) to hold an insurer accountable = $389,000.00 + HST. Where YOUR premium $ go when insurer ordered to pay victim’s legal costs. Insurers costs (to their lawyers) to deny claim = unknown. Court costs $ to taxpayer = unknown  
 
Sheldon v. Reyna, 2019 ONSC 1265 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hxmjv
[1]               After being injured in a rear-end car accident on September 17, 2011, the plaintiff Rosemary Sheldon succeeded in her action against the defendant Manuel Reyna after a 15-day judge-alone trial.

[2]               The plaintiff argues that her total judgment is $827,487.77, an amount which is net of the statutory deductible applicable to awards of non-pecuniary general damages and of the amount of the settlement of the plaintiff’s claim for accident benefits.

[3]               The plaintiff is now requesting:

(a)               correction or clarification of one of my awards for future housekeeping and home maintenance and confirmation of the total amount of her judgment;

(b)               prejudgment interest on her non-pecuniary general damages;

(c)               postjudgment interest;

(d)               the costs of her action on a partial indemnity basis; and

(e)               an order allowing for part of the award to be paid through periodic payments.

 

[32]           To quote from the Boucher case, I consider the following award to reflect a fair and reasonable amount for the defendant to pay:

•        Fees in the amount of $285,000.00 plus HST;

•        Taxable disbursements in the amount of $101,029.77 plus HST; and

•        Non-taxable disbursements in the amount of $3,087.19.
________________________________________
Sheldon v Reyna, 2018 ONSC 5611 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hv7sd
________________________________________
Sheldon v Reyna, 2017 ONSC 7248 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hp4bd
________________________________________

February 26, 2019

Kanetix.ca Reveals Ontario’s Most Expensive Cities for Auto Insurance 
TORONTOFeb. 26, 2019 /CNW/ – From Hamilton to BramptonVaughan to Whitby, drivers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) pay more for auto insurance than drivers elsewhere in the province. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Education, Unbundling, Pro Bono, Lawyer Surcharge, Judicial Intervention-What’s the Answer to Achieving A2J? 

We know that too many litigants are forced to represent themselves, sometimes with some form of assistance. These are people who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for legal aid. (I am concerned here with people who would prefer to have a lawyer rather than those who want to represent themselves.) They may not even become litigants, but, where they are able, give up the opportunity to seek the justice they believe they deserve. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Ontarians pay too much for auto insurance

Premier Doug Ford’s government recently announced its intention to tackle the multibillion-dollar car insurance industry. The move is critically important to Ontario’s economy. 
 
_______________________________________________________________

Cannabis prescriptions are eligible medical expense, CRA confirms

The Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that medical cannabis purchased under prescription is an allowable medical expense at tax time. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Ontario disability support rejections often overturned on appeal by provincially-funded legal clinics

Ontario’s auditor general found that last year, 21 million provincial tax dollars were spent at these clinics fighting a decision made by another branch of the provincial government. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Online Concussion Support Group

The Online Concussion Support Group welcomes you to a safe place where you can share your frustrations and struggles and connect with others who have had similar experiences. 
 
_______________________________________________________________

Lawyers coaching B.C. doctors to avoid injury caps under new auto insurance rules

B.C. doctors are being coached by trial lawyers to avoid classifying motor-vehicle injuries as “minor” under new rules that, starting in April, will cap some claims. 
 
_______________________________________________________________

$160,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Brain Injury and Chronic Pain

In today’s case (Ranahan v. Oceguera) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2013 rear end collision.  Although faut was not formally admitted the Court found the Defendant fully liable for the crash.  The Plaintiff suffered chronic injuries from the collision and in assessing non-pecuniary damages at $160,000 Mr. Justice Mayer provided the following reasons 
 

February 25, 2019

How Personal Injury Lawyers Are Paid

People are sometimes reluctant to seek legal advice after being injured. They believe they cannot afford legal fees and expenses, particularly if their injuries have caused them to be off work. 
 
__________________________________________________________________

Why women are more seriously injured in a car crash

The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes
Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of design that forgets about women – and puts lives at risk
How women are put at risk on the roads 
 
_______________________________________________________________

Local senior engaged in battle with car insurer, provincial government

An elderly Dufferin County resident is currently fighting on two fronts after launching a lawsuit against a national insurance provider and calling on the provincial government to review what he called “bogus” legislation.  
 
_______________________________________________________________

Welcome to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

On April 1, 2019, the CRT will also start resolving many motor vehicle accident and injury disputes up to $50,000. Public beta test available NOW! Try it out and give us your feedback
 
______________________________________________________________

Making the World Safer for Pedestrians

On a cold, crisp Virginia morning, engineers and technicians watched as a BMW SUV approached from the far end of a test track. As a pedestrian dummy moved across the road on a pulley, the vehicle slammed into it at about 25 mph. The dummy’s legs flew off as the force of the collision violently flung the rest of its body up and over the SUV. Even the auto-safety experts gasped. 
 
________________________________________________________________

How landmark voyeurism ruling impacts insurers

In R. v. Jarvis, released Feb. 14, the Supreme Court of Canada convicted Ryan Jarvis of criminal voyeurism for surreptitiously filming students at Beal Secondary School in London, Ont. 
 
______________________________________________________________

Lawyers coaching B.C. doctors to avoid injury caps under new auto insurance rules

B.C. doctors are being coached by trial lawyers to avoid classifying motor-vehicle injuries as “minor” under new rules that, starting in April, will cap some claims. 
 

February 22, 2019

Submissions to the FSRA Priorities and Budget 2019  

_________________________________________________

AB case generates massive confusion around “but for” causation test

A recent Ontario accident benefits case has highlighted ongoing confusion about how to identify and apply the proper causation test — including the contentious “but for” clause. 
 
__________________________________________________

Big cars kill: ‘Monster’ vehicles may make Canadians feel safer, but they’re more likely to cause fatal collisions

Michelle Taylor’s last words, before she was crushed to death by a truck tire, were, “What does this idiot think he’s doing?” 
 
___________________________________________________

Impaired woman abandoned by cabbie on 401 paid ‘ultimate price’

Candice Williams, 34, of Mississauga, was struck and killed by a drunk driver after she was abandoned by a cabbie on Hwy. 401 near Martin Grove Rd. in December 2011.

https://canoe.com/news/crime/impaired-woman-abandoned-by-cabbie-on-hwy-401-paid-ultimate-price/wcm/b7f46641-51f8-4907-ad82-dd0fdee79f7c

___________________________________________________

Know your risks, responsibilities before an accident happens

Winter brings increased hazards that can result in injuries, so taking steps to avoid mishaps can impact the bottom line in a negligence settlement, Windsor personal injury lawyer Gino Paciocco tells AdvocateDaily.com
 
___________________________________________________

Brian Goldfinger on privacy and personal injury law in Ontario

Here is a typical occurrence for Brian Goldfinger. Someone has been involved in a serious motor vehicle collision. The innocent accident victim is seriously injured, and in hospital. They have co-operated with the police and given a statement of their version of the events (often while in a hospital bed). 
 
___________________________________________________

BC drivers to be hit with more than a billion dollars in increased premiums in the next three years

A financial summary released by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) said that drivers in the province will see their premiums increase over the next three years, with the insurer hoping to turn a profit. 
 
 
 

February 21, 2019

Expert limits prejudice accident victims: Ford

  New rules limiting the use of experts in litigation related to motor vehicle accidents will unfairly prejudice injured plaintiffs, Kamloops personal injury lawyer Matthew Ford tells AdvocateDaily.com
 
__________________________________________________________________

BC Supreme Court Sends Stern Message ICBC’s Way

The BC personal injury market is navigating rough waters as the ICBC implements a series of unilateral and unwelcome adjustments. In their wake, the BC Supreme Court has sent a stern message in Tsai v. Murdoch, 2019 BCSC 179 [Tsai] “cautioning ICBC not to tie up Court time with cases that should settle.” 
 
________________________________________________________________

Concussion patients don’t get critical follow-up from Doctors

As evidence builds of more long-term effects linked to concussion, a nationwide study led by scientists at UCSF and the University of Southern California has found that more than half of the patients seen at top-level trauma centers may fall off the radar shortly after diagnosis, placing in jeopardy treatments for these long-term effects. 
 
_________________________________________________________________
 

Scuglia v. RBC Life Insurance Company, 2019 ONSC 1038 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hxgvr  

19]           The medical evidence need not establish with absolute certainty that harm will be suffered.  It is sufficient for the evidence to establish that the risk of harm is real.  The resistance to attend an examination must not simply be an attempt by the witness to avoid discovery for personal or strategic reasons.  There must be a real and serious risk of harm. 

[20]           In my view, the test to avoid any form of discovery, including by written questions, must be at least as high as that which must be established to avoid oral examination. 

[27]           Relying upon the vascular malformation diagnosis of Mr. Scuglia’s treating neurologists, Dr. Ghaffar then goes on to provide his view, based on literature of which he is aware, that acute anger or psychological distress may cause a sudden and short increase in blood pressure which could then contribute to an intracerebral hemorrhage in a person with a vascular malformation which could be fatal. Dr. Ghaffar then opined that the stress of an IME could contribute to bleeding of the vascular malformation which, based on its location in Mr. Scuglia’s brain, could be fatal.  Such a conclusion, would appear to be outside of the expertise of Dr. Ghaffar as a psychiatrist, even one with experience treating neurological patients.  It would appear that Dr. Ghaffar has offered a neurological opinion for which he is admittedly not an expert.

[28]           Dr. Dost is a neurologist who provided medical evidence on behalf of RBC Life for this motion.  Dr. Dost also relied solely on the medical notes and records of Mr. Scuglia.  Having regard to the documented vascular malformation, it was Dr. Dost’s opinion that while it is possible for an intracerebral hemorrhage to occur as a result of a sudden and acute increase in blood pressure, the risk would be very small and non-quantifiable.  He would disagree there is a substantial risk of harm or death.  Rather, Dr. Dost was of the opinion that if Mr. Scuglia were to undergo examination for discovery, the risk he would suffer physical or neurological damage was “exceedingly low and non-quantifiable”.

[35]           It does not appear, based on the medical evidence before me, that compelling Mr. Scuglia to attend an examination for discovery would result in “irretrievable injury”.[4]

[36]           Mr. Scuglia has failed to meet his burden to demonstrate that he is unable to attend on an examination for discovery or cross-examination because to do so could cause him to suffer psychological or physical damage.  The medical evidence submitted by both parties does not support such a conclusion.  There does not appear to be a real and serious risk of harm.

 

February 20, 2019

Where are some of the dollars FSCO uses to operate coming from?

______________________________________________________________

Spotlight: Ontario motorists are peeved as record-level claims drive auto insurance premiums even higher

The rising frequency of insurance claims and the growing cost of vehicle repairs have forced another year of auto insurance premium hikes in Ontario in 2019. And the result is exactly what you might expect. 
 
_________________________________________________________________

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Personal umbrella insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to add extra liability coverage over and above another insurance policy, such as auto, boat, or homeowners. 
 
_____________________________________________________________

How Breathing Calms Your Brain, And Other Science-Based Benefits Of Controlled Breathing

The science of breathing stands on quite ancient foundations. Centuries of wisdom instructs us to pay closer attention to our breathing, the most basic of things we do each day. And yet, maybe because breathing is so basic, it’s also easy to ignore. A brief review of the latest science on breathing and the brain, and overall health, serves as a reminder that breathing deserves much closer attention – there’s more going on with each breath than we realize. 
 
_____________________________________________________________

IBIA Caregiver Workshop – 2019 

OBIA, along with Brain Injury Canada and the Brain Injury Society of Toronto will be hosting a special workshop event for unpaid caregivers as part of the 13th Annual World Congress on Brain Injury. 
 
______________________________________________________________
 

Sabadash v. State Farm et al., 2019 ONSC 1121 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hxk3k 

[11]           Arbitrator Smith (“the Arbitrator”) granted Mr. Sabadash’s request for IRBs and other benefits.  He held that, “I cannot accept State Farm’s submission that the ‘but for’ test endorsed by the Courts in accident negligence cases is to be applied to a determination of causation in the statutory accident benefit context.”  He concluded that accident benefits were warranted because, “the preponderance of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the subject accident was a material significant factor well beyond the de minimis range in the causation of Mr. Sabadash’s inability to work…”

[12]           A party to a FSCO arbitration may appeal an arbitrator’s order to the Director or his/her delegate, on a question of law.  The Director or Director’s Delegate may confirm, vary, or rescind the arbitration order, or substitute his or her order for that of the arbitrator.

[13]           State Farm appealed the Arbitrator’s decision to the Director’s Delegate of the FSCO on the basis that the test applied by the Arbitrator was the wrong one and that rather than using the material significant factor standard, he should have applied the “but for” test to determine causation. 

[14]           Director’s Delegate Evans allowed the appeal on the basis that the Arbitrator had misdirected himself as to the proper test of causation  and should have applied the “but for” test.  In so doing, the Director’s Delegate articulated what he believed to be the correct test and analysis to be applied. The Director’s Delegate ordered a new hearing before a different Arbitrator.

[15]           Mr. Sabadash seeks judicial review of the Director’s Delegate’s decision dated September 18, 2017. 
 

[45]           The Applicant argues that the Arbitrator’s decision should be restored, as the Arbitrator’s analysis was the robust application of the “but for” test required by Clements. I disagree.  The Director’s Delegate reasonably remitted the matter for rehearing so that the correct legal test for causation could be applied.  He was correct in finding that the wrong test was articulated by the Arbitrator.  However, although he identified the correct “but for” test, the Director’s Delegate did not correctly explain how the test works. 

[46]           As such, it is appropriate to remit the issue of causation to a different arbitrator to apply the correct test to the evidence.  The Application for judicial review is dismissed.

____________________________________________________________

Seetaram v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 2019 ONSC 683 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hx75m  

[3]               For the reasons I set out below, I declare that the Policy is void. I rely on s. 233(1)(a)(ii) of the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, C. I.8 (“s. 233(1)(a)(ii)”) and Statutory Condition 1(1) of O. Reg. 777/93: Statutory Conditions – Automobile Insurance (the “Statutory Conditions”) which were breached when Zalimoon and Lakeram failed to disclose upon the renewal of the Policy that Avinash was a licensed driver in the household.  

[96]           The Applicants knew that Avinash was a licensed driver in their household with a G2 license that permitted him to drive on his own. The effect of such an additional driver on risk is clear – a high-risk driver in the household able to drive on his own would substantially affect the premium. Only the Applicants would have knowledge of that information, which put them in a position of the utmost good faith.

[97]           Consequently, I do not grant order relief from forfeiture.Order and costs

[98]           For the above reasons, I dismiss the application.[99]           The matter was important to both parties. The motion records contained numerous affidavits, and cross-examination of the Applicants were required and appropriate. All parties prepared thorough factums and briefs of authorities. Based on the above factors, I fix costs at$15,000 (inclusive of taxes and disbursements), payable by the Applicants to Allstate within 30 days of this order.

February 19, 2019

When the Badly-Behaved Party Is Opposing Counsel 

There are many common elements to these reports, which I find to be largely credible. SRLs believe that their unfamiliarity with the legal system, combined with the tendency of some judges to assume the worst of them – that their cases are without merit, or that they are “vexatious” and abusing the process when they make honest mistakes and misjudgments – is being exploited by counsel on the other side as a matter of strategy. 
 
_________________________________________________________________

My Experience Attending Examinations for Discovery

What on earth are Examinations for Discovery I find myself asking my lawyer.   You see, the law firm was calling to set up a convenient time for these examinations to take place.   I was the plaintiff in a Motor Vehicle Crash and it was determined that I was “0” at fault and the driver that caused the crash had plead guilty a couple of years ago.  The Examinations for Discovery date had to coincide with my schedule as well as both lawyers’ but I was given plenty of notice.   A date was set which was two months away and my lawyer requested to meet with me a week before I was to attend.  I would soon come to understand that when you reach “Examinations for Discovery”, this is a crucial step of reaching a settlement.  
 
______________________________________________________________

Why Mental Health Care Is More than Numbers

A while ago, I was informed that I lived in the mecca of mental health services: Toronto. There are a plethora of private-pay therapists including registered psychologists and registered psychotherapists here, but most with complex needs can’t afford them and must turn to medicare-covered psychiatrists. 
 
______________________________________________________________

How expert witness restrictions impact insurers

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia will save millions as a result of new auto injury lawsuit rules for the province, which will likely cut costs for other carriers as well, the provincial government says. 
 

February 15, 2019

ABISS Teaser

___________________________________________________________________

Fatigue: Does It Ever Go Away?

Fatigue is such an inadequate word to describe the unutterable weariness that comes on to a person with fibromyalgia or brain injury just because one got up in the morning. 
 
___________________________________________________________________
 
Court upholds Ontario government’s decision to cancel basic income study
 
An Ontario court has denied a request that it quash the provincial government’s decision to cancel a basic income pilot project.
___________________________________________________________________

ICBC’s “Meat Chart” Crashes In the BC Supreme Court

 
________________________________________________
 

SCC decison speaks at length about the expectation of privacy. As we all know, what happens post car accident is intense surveillance and it does involve other individuals who are surveilled without their permission.

 
33]                          Similarly, although the surreptitiousness of the observation or recording is an element of the offence in s. 162(1)  , this does not mean that it can never be considered in assessing whether the person who was observed or recorded had a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, the fact that a person chose to be secretive about recording another person in a particular situation may support the conclusion that the recording was contrary to the norms regarding privacy and visual recording that exist in that context. However, as with the purpose of the observation or recording, surreptitiousness will only ever be one consideration, among many, to be taken into account in assessing reasonable expectations of privacy; it cannot be allowed to overwhelm the reasonable expectation of privacy analysis. It is possible under s. 162(1)   for observation or recording to be done surreptitiously but not in breach of a reasonable expectation of privacy. Conversely, observation or recording that is done openly may breach reasonable expectations of privacy, though because it is not surreptitious, it will not constitute an offence under s. 162(1)  .  
 
The Supreme Court’s Jarvis ruling delivers a win for privacy, but it’s a missed opportunity for equality

Right to privacy not an all-or-nothing concept, says SCC in voyeurism case