Anyone who has suffered from chronic pain or a traumatic brain injury will understand why these are sometimes called “invisible injuries”. While everything may appear to be fine on the outside, daily life can be a painful struggle. Two recent Ottawa decisions remind us of the important role plaintiff’s counsel play in combatting stereotypes about these types of injuries.
There are no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities to fill your summer. Rock climbing, ziplining, skydiving, whitewater rafting and scuba diving all bring high degrees of excitement – and a certain degree of risk. Before embarking in any of these activities, as well as winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, participants are often asked to sign a liability waiver. Agreeing to the conditions typically comes with implications that few people fully consider.
Injured workers rely on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to look after their health care and coordinate compensation. In the past, the Board has been criticized for focussing on finances, rather than the health and welfare of workers. A report released in May by the Industrial Accident Victim’s Group (IAVGO) titled Bad Medicine: A Report on the WSIB’s Transformation of its Health Care Spending appears to support these criticisms.
When faced with an injury, access to funds can mean the difference between being able to afford newly-required supports and struggling to do so. These funds can allow for life-improving measures such as attendant care, house-keeping services or home alterations. An essential role of our personal injury lawyers is obtaining these funds for our clients as efficiently as possible. Our priority is on ensuring our clients get the support that they need.
In order to succeed in a claim for personal injury, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s conduct falls within a known cause of action. Until recently, it has not been clear whether acts of harassment can support a claim for damages. However, the recent decision of Merrifield v The Attorney General has confirmed that the tort of harassment does indeed exist in Canada.
The RCMP and Staff Sgt. Caroline O’Farrell have reached a settlement of the lawsuit brought by O’Farrell in regard to the treatment she received at the hands of some male members while she was a member of the Musical Ride in 1986 and 1987.
Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance legislation provides workers with benefits if they are injured during the course of their employment. In most cases, workers are entitled to benefits regardless of how they are hurt or who caused the injury. In exchange for entitlement to benefits, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) limits the ability of workers to sue their employers.
The case of fertility doctor Norman Barwin has made headlines not just in Canada, but internationally as well. In a Statement of Claim our firm has filed, we have alleged that in the late 1980s he used his own sperm to impregnate at least two women during artificial fertility treatments at his fertility clinic, the Broadview Fertility Clinic.
No one wants to enter into a drawn-out and expensive court trial. There are times, however, when resolving a dispute in court is necessary. It’s a reality that litigation is costly and slow, and it has been recognized that there are many obstacles faced by Canadians who are attempting to enforce their legal rights in court. A series of decisions released over the last few years have emphasized the need for trial counsel to engage in a ‘culture shift’, in order to ensure ready and affordable access to justice for everybody.
One of the cornerstones of negligence law is the principle ‘joint and several liability’. With ‘several liability’, each defendant found liable is only responsible to pay his or her proportionate share of the damages. But with ‘joint and several liability’, a successful plaintiff can recover all of his or her damages from any of the defendants found liable regardless of the percentage of fault attributed to them. It is left to the defending parties to sort out between themselves who pays what.