A recent arbitration decision in Mujku v State Farm provides a useful analysis for determining catastrophic impairment due to a mental or behavioural disorder under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.The applicant, Mrs. Mujku, was injured in a rear end collision in November, 2005. The collision itself, by all accounts, was relatively minor: The vehicle sustained $703.34 worth of damage and Mrs. Mujku suffered soft tissue injuries. Following the collision, Mrs. Mujku’s pain steadily worsened and her mental health deteriorated. Eventually, Mrs. Mujku was diagnosed with a number of recognized mental and behavioural disorders, including, a major depressive disorder and a pain disorder with associated psychological factors.
Arbitrator JeffreyRogers decided that Mrs. Mujku met the definition of catastrophic impairment due to mental or behavioural disorder under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. In order to be found catastrophically impaired, an applicant must have a marked impairment in one of four areas of functioning: 1) activities of daily living; 2) social functioning; 3) concentration, persistence and pace; or 4) deterioration or decompensation in work or worklike settings. Read more of this article »
An overwhelming demand for dispute resolution services has created a backlog of cases awaiting mediation at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. The 2013 Ontario Budget called for the appointment of an expert to review the system and propose changes. The Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa appointed The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, QC, former Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, to conduct the review of Ontario’s dispute resolution system.
The Ministry of Finance called for submissions from stakeholders involved in the dispute resolution process. The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, QC reviewed the submissions and took part in stakeholder meetings to get a clear picture of the problems facing the dispute resolution process in Ontario. Read more of this article »
McLeish Orlando Supports BIST 5k Run, Walk and Roll and SCIO Wheelchair Relay Challenge
This past weekend, McLeish Orlando staff, family and friends came out to support two very important causes in our community. In spite of the rain on Saturday, there were close to 300 participants who finished the race for the 3rd Annual BIST 5K Run.
Through sponsorship, fundraising and registration, BIST generated over $50,000 that will go a long way in supporting programs, services and efforts to raise brain injury awareness.
The Brain Injury Society of Toronto supports brain injury survivors and family members. BIST aims to enhance the quality of life for people in the City of Toronto, living with the effects of brain injury through education, awareness, support and advocacy.
MISSISSAUGA – Ontario will order auto insurance companies to cut premiums by an average of eight per cent by next August, and by a total of 15 per cent within two years, Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced Friday.
The NDP had demanded a 15-per-cent cut in one year in exchange for supporting the minority government’s budget, but Sousa defended his plan as more practical and achievable.
“We are compelling these insurance companies to reduce their rates,” he said.
Regulatory changes in 2010 reduced benefits in some areas, saving the industry hundreds of millions of dollars, and the province will appoint a watchdog to make sure customers see some of those savings in the form of lower rates, added Sousa.
“We believe there are cost savings in the system right now for immediate reductions,” he said. “We have to make certain that those savings can be passed on.”
However, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said it will need to see more steps taken by the government to reduce costs for the industry before premiums can be chopped by 15 per cent. Read more of this article »
Toronto (August 8, 2013) – The parents of a two-year-old Toronto girl, who died last month while in the care of a Vaughan home daycare, have launched a lawsuit against the Ontario Ministry of Education and five owner/operators of the daycare facility in order to ensure the safety of other children.
“We’ve been advised by the coroner’s office that the death of two-year old Eva Ravikovich was preventable,” said Patrick Brown, partner at McLeish Orlando LLP, the lawyer representing Eva’s parents, Ekaterina Evtropova and Vycheslav Ravikovich. “We hope this case serves as a stark reminder to daycare operators across Ontario to practice their due diligence so that no other parents will have to endure this kind of tragic loss.”
On July 8, 2013, Eva Ravikovich died at the home daycare at 343 Yellowood Circle in Vaughan.
Brown alleges in his statement of claim, that the daycare owner/operators were negligent by failing to provide adequate care and supervision for Eva Ravikovich, exceeded the number of children allowed in the unlicensed home daycare and that members of staff were not properly trained. In addition, Brown also alleges that the Ontario Ministry of Education was negligent by failing to properly inspect, investigate and regulate the daycare, which had been the subject of previous complaints.
Toronto – The Ontario Ministry of Education and the owner/operators of a Vaughan home daycare have been notified of a $3.5 million lawsuit filed by the parents of a two-year old Toronto girl who died last month while in daycare.
What: Parents of Eva Ravikovich speak to media at news conference
Where: Offices of McLeish Orlando LLP, One Queen Street East, Suite 1620
When: Thursday, August 8th @ 10am
Who: Ekaterina Evtropova and Vycheslav Ravikovich & Patrick Brown, partner at McLeish Orlando LLP
For further information contact:
Danna O’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org 416-500-0699
Patrick Brown, email@example.com 416-366-3311
Toronto (July 3rd, 2013) – The family of a 48-year Toronto woman, struck and killed by a TTC bus last January, has launched a $3.2 million damage suit against the driver – who faces charges arising from the tragedy – and the Toronto Transit Commission.
“The sad reality, is that what happened to Wendy Martella, could happen to anyone,” said Dale Orlando, of McLeish Orlando LLP, the lawyer representing the Martella family. “Wendy was simply crossing the street, on her way home from work as a Senior Management Support Officer with Scotia Bank, when she was struck and killed by the TTC bus as it accelerated through a red light, without warning.”
The TTC bus driver, Magdalene Angelidis, appeared in court on Thursday, June 6th, 2013, on charges of careless driving and failing to stop at a red light.
Orlando writes in the statement of claim, that on January 23, 2013, at approximately, 4:00 p.m., Angelidis stopped the TTC bus in the intersection of Eglinton Avenue and Sinnott Road to pick up a passenger. The bus drove through the intersection, and a red light, striking Martella as she crossed the street on a green light. She suffered serious injuries, and died the following day at Sunnybrook Medical Centre.
The Martella family, alleges the TTC bus driver was distracted and failed to follow proper protocols by making an unscheduled stop in an intersection, writes Orlando in the statement of claim.
The TTC bus driver is scheduled to make a second court appearance at Old City Hall court on July 4.
Brain injuries are occurring at an alarming rate among Ontario teenagers, a new study has found, making education and awareness on the effects of a blow to the head crucial for parents, says Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando.
“I think there’s a common misconception where people talk about a concussion without understanding that a concussion is considered to be a brain injury,” says Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP. “A concussion, by definition, is a mild or moderate brain injury.”
The study found that one in five teens in Ontario has had a concussion or another brain injury in their lifetime that was serious enough to leave them unconscious for five minutes or to send them to hospital overnight, CTV reports.
As well, a total of 5.6 per cent reported they had had a concussion or significant brain injury in the past year, it adds.
“Statically, the majority of people who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries go on to have full symptom resolution, but there is a percentage that have significant ongoing difficulties as a result of their mild traumatic brain injury,” says Orlando. “But even for the people that do go on to have a good recovery and are symptom free, they become much more vulnerable to more significant impairments if they suffer a second head injury.”
The study used data from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, CTV reports, noting it used responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7-12.
The survey found that the majority of traumatic brain injuries for the teens occurred during sports: 47 per cent for girls and 63.5 per cent for boys, with hockey and soccer accounting for more than half the injuries, the report says.
“I think as parents we have to be hyper vigilant and aware that a concussion isn’t just a minor thing like a scrape or a bruise that happens through the course of childhood that isn’t a big deal,” says Orlando.
“Many Canadian boys and girls grow up chasing the dream of making a living playing hockey, but Peewee games and Bantam games – they’re not the NHL,” he says. “Rules regarding hits to the head should be stringently enforced. Any hit directed to the head should have serious consequences for the person delivering the hit. Hitting from behind, driving somebody’s head into the boards … the penalty should be increased to eliminate it from the sport.”
On the soccer field, Orlando says it’s common to see injuries from regular activities, like heading the ball.
“That may not be appropriate for children of a certain age,” he says.
Orlando says while improvements have been made in sporting rules, more can be done to prevent serious injury.
“I think we’ve come a long way from the days of somebody suffering a concussion and having the coach say ‘Get back out there for your next shift.’ There are practices and protocols in place,” he says. “Parents have to recognize that a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and the restrictions associated with return to play are there for a reason.”
Streets designed to take every mode of transportation into account – dubbed complete streets – are safer for the drivers, cyclists and pedestrians travelling on them, Toronto critical injury lawyer Patrick Brown says in Law Times.
In the article, Brown discusses the 2012 cycling death review and the 2012 pedestrian death review, and the coroner’s office move to call for the adoption of complete streets.
“The complete streets concept has been around for a while,” Brown says in Law Times.
“It has been adopted in various jurisdictions in the U.S. Put simply, it provides that anyone involved in the construction, building, maintenance or design of any type of roads provide equal access and equal consideration for all users, especially in urban centres. Complete streets are designed to give cyclists and pedestrians their own space so they can avoid contact.”
The cycling death review examined all of the 129 accidental cycling deaths that occurred in Ontario between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2010, the article says, while the pedestrian death review examined 95 cases of preventable pedestrian collisions in 2010, including the 23 deaths that occurred in January of that year.
The Ministry of Transportation is currently in the process of developing a cycling strategy and is moving forward with implementing the coroner’s recommendations, the report says.
“We are hoping for a complete streets policy statement directing the road authorities to adopt the concept,” Brown, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, says in the article.
“There is no doubt in my mind that if they do, we will have the safest roads in North America and a substantial reduction in fatalities.”
McLeish Orlando LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers One Queen Street East, Suite 1620 Toronto, ON M5C 2W5 Phone: 416-366-3311 Toll Free: 888-494-8201 Fax: 416-366-3330 Map and Directions
Barrie office 92 Caplan Avenue Barrie, ON L4N 0Z7 Toll Free: 888-494-8201 Fax: 416-366-3330 Map and Directions
Hamilton office One Hunter Street East Hamilton, ON L8N 3W1 Toll Free: 888-494-8201 Map and Directions
McLeish Orlando LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers represents clients in the greater Toronto area (GTA) and throughout southern Ontario, including residents of Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Brampton, Woodbridge, Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan, Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, Newmarket, Aurora, Barrie, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Waterloo, St Catharines, Niagara, Kingston and Guelph, Ontario.