On July 15, 2014, Bill 15 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The stated aims of the bill are to protect Ontario drivers, tackle fraud, and reduce costs and uncertainty within the auto insurance system. If passed, the bill would further the Liberal government’s goal of a 15% reduction in auto insurance rates within the next two years.
While the changes proposed by the bill may be well intentioned; the implications of the bill are cause for concern for injured individuals and for the rehab community.
One reason for concern is the transformation of Ontario’s auto insurance dispute resolution system. Under Bill 15, FSCO would no longer oversee the adjudicative process for SABS. Instead, the power would be placed in the hands of the Licensing Appeals Tribunal. Much of the transitional and opting out rules remain largely undefined and the changes also include the removal of the right to sue on all SABS disputes.
A second reason for concern is the proposed reduction of prejudgment interest rates from 5% to 1.3%. The current rate of 5% was set back in 1990. The proposed reduction is intended to link prejudgment interest to current market conditions. With such a significant reduction, long-standing criticisms of the application of simple interest, as opposed to compound interest on prejudgment calculations becomes all the more valid.
You can read Bill 15 in its entirety by visiting the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s website. Those opposed to the changes are urged to contact their MPP as soon as possible.
Families from across Canada, travel to the Hospital for Sick Children, so their kids can receive the specialized treatment that only SickKids Hospital can provide.
These families face a number of financial challenges. This is because public health insurance only covers a fraction of the expense that a family incurs when a child is hospitalized. Families are often overwhelmed by travel, hotel, and restaurant expenses. As well, for working parents, there is often a significant loss of income.
McLeish Orlando has helped these families meet their financial hurdles. The firm has done so by contributing over $15,000.00 to the Carole Harrison Trauma Fund at SickKids Hospital.
The Carole Harrison Trauma Fund is named after a social worker who made a tremendous impact on the trauma unit at SickKids Hospital. The fund is designed to ease the burden of those parents whose child is being treated at the trauma unit at SickKids Hospital. Money from the funds is provided to families to help defray expenses while their child is recovering.
Examples of where money from the fund is used include helping with the purchase of equipment: like motion walkers, bath chairs, shower chairs, protective helmets, collars and rental wheel chairs.
Patients’ families have also been provided with meal vouchers, clothing, and accommodation at places like the Ronald McDonald House.
McLeish Orlando is proud to support SickKids trauma patients’ and their families.
Brett Babcock had a bright-looking future as a competitive trampolinist. Brett moved from Kingston to Edmonton to train with a new gymnastics club. He was perfecting his technique. Brett was on track to compete at the national and international levels.
This all changed on October 1, 2012. During a training session, while attempting a triple back pike dismount, Brett under rotated and struck his head on the landing mat during his third rotation. He could not feel or move his legs. The fall caused irreparable damage to his spinal cord. At that instant, Brett’s career as a competitive gymnast was over.
Brett was rendered a quadriplegic. He spent over a month in an acute care hospital and several more months after that in a rehabilitation hospital.
While rehabbing, Brett turned his mind back to competitive sports. He made the decision to pursue track and field. Early in 2014, Brett entered the Paralympic Committee ParAthletics Grand Prix in Switzerland. He competed in the 100m, 200m, and 400m wheelchair races, as well as the discus and club throws. He then competed in the 2014 Track and Field Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick. Brett set a Canadian record in the F51 quadriplegic club throw.
Through hard work, dedication and perseverance, Brett has achieved significant athletic success. In September, Brett began his first year at Carleton University and hopes to continue with his athletic endeavours.
Congratulations Brett. There are no limits to what you can achieve.
By: Josh Nisker
Google’s autonomous (self-driving) car has received quite a bit of attention recently, with some media outlets predicting that the technology will be used in Canada by the year 2020.
Certainly, there are limitations to the technology that will need to be addressed before the product is brought to market. For instance, Google’s self-driving cars cannot be operated in inclement weather conditions such as snow or heavy rain. In addition, the car’s sensors cannot differentiate between a potential road hazard (such as a rock) and a non-hazard (such as a crumpled paper bag), and so the car will swerve around each. While the car can detect a pedestrian in the street, it cannot detect and respond to a police officer waving from the side of the road to direct traffic in an emergency.
Assuming these technical issues are remedied and the product is successfully (and safely) brought to market, accidents will still happen. However, our current laws are ill-equipped to deal with an automotive landscape where cars are self-driven by computers rather than controlled by human operators. For instance, how can a “driver” be held responsible for an accident when he or she did none of the driving? The system, it seems, would require comprehensive reform: either injured parties will have to look exclusively look to vehicle manufacturers, programmers, and municipalities for fault in motor vehicle accident claims, or we will have to set aside issues of liability entirely and turn to an expanded no-fault scheme.
While manufacturers and computer programmers continue to work away, lawmakers and insurers will be carefully looking over their shoulders.
By: Alison Burrison and Odette Ansell
Now that we are well into September and another school year has started, seas of yellow school buses are once again active in our neighbourhoods. School buses can be quite large and make frequent stops, picking up and dropping off students at their homes and schools throughout the day. While it is always important to share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, it is vital to ensure that you know the law and proper courtesy required when driving around school buses.
In honour of the autumn season and the children in our communities heading back to school, we want to share our top five tips to help you appropriately share the road with school buses. By following these rules, you can help ensure that everybody stays safe this school year, including school bus passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, and you. Read more of this article »
Interview with: Rikin Morzaria of McLeish Orlando & Personal Injury Alliance Published in: The Toronto Metro Newspaper – August 27, 2014 issue
Q: If someone is injured in a car accident and believes they may be at fault, do they still have a case for damages?
A: In many cases, yes. If a person is negligent, they can still recover damages or financial compensation based on the degree of the other party’s fault. Even if the injured person is 100 per cent to blame for the accident, there are no-fault accident benefits called statutory accident benefits. If it’s a catastrophic injury, the benefits can be substantial, up to $1 million for rehab.
Q: Why is retaining a qualified personal injury lawyer so important?
A :Personal injury cases of a serious nature, especially at-fault cases, are extremely complicated and lengthy. Read more of this article »
We are proud to announce that John McLeish, Dale Orlando and Patrick Brown have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada ® as leading legal practitioners in Personal Injury Litigation.
Best Lawyers in Canada® is the oldest and most respected international peer-review publication in the legal profession. Lawyers who are recognized demonstrate a high level of respect amongst their peers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.
Congratulations to all of the lawyers who were selected to be included in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada®.
As Past Presidents of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, McLeish Orlando’s Partners, John McLeish, Dale Orlando and Patrick Brown all accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Jim Vigmond. They are also donating $1,000 to the ALS Foundation.
The OPP said as of August 18, 2014, 26 people – 25 motorcyclists and one passenger- had died in crashes within the force’s jurisdiction. That compares with 29 motorcycle deaths in all of last year, and 26 the year before.
In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto personal injury lawyer, Patrick Brown says motorists must use extra precaution when it comes to sharing the road with motorcyclists.
Read the full article on AdvocateDaily.com.
There have been recent changes to the requirements that must be satisfied when bringing a motion to transfer an action under rule 13.1.02 in the Central East, Central West, Central South and Toronto Regions.
The most notable change is that counsel are no longer required to provide affidavit evidence about the availability of judges and court facilities in the county they are seeking to transfer to in order to satisfy factor (viii) under rule 13.1.02(2). Read more of this article »