Articles Posted in Legal News

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The word trust, in a non legal sense is defined as “the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”

In the context of a personal injury case, there are times where trust can be a good thing; and times when it can be a very bad thing.

The purpose of this week’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post is to give you some first hand examples from Brian Goldfinger on when it’s a good time to trust, and when it’s not such a good time to trust in the context of your personal injury case.

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It’s never ok for Google to be your lawyer. Nor is it ok for Google to be your doctor, dentist, accountant, amateur arborist or veterinarian. You get the picture.

But Google and the internet are a wealth of information. That information can be very helpful at times. At other times, it can be very dangerous. So dangerous in fact just doing a simply Google search as a juror can be cause for a mistrial in an Ontario car accident case.

How could this possibly happen? How could something as innocent as a Google search impact a personal injury case?

Enter the recent Ontario Superior Court case of Patterson et. al. v. Peladeau 2018 ONSC 2625

After 8 weeks of evidence, closing arguments and a jury charge, the jury deliberated for five days before returning with a verdict.

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The main office of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is at 45 Sheppard Avenue E., at Yonge and Sheppard in Toronto.

This is right outside of where Toronto Van Rampage suspect Alex Minassian was bravely apprehended on Poyntz Ave by Toronto Police Constable Ken Lam. More on PC Ken Lam later.

This is also right outside the site of where Mr. Minassian’s drive ended at Yonge and Sheppard, which began earlier at Yonge and Finch. The crime scene as identified by the Toronto Police extends around 2.2 kilometres. This is a long stretch or densely populated road and sidewalk.

The aftermath was that Minassian left 10 people dead in his tracks, and 14+ seriously injured. His actions shut down  Yonge Street and subway service in the area. Toronto Mayor John Tory asked that businesses close down for the day so the police could properly investigate the area.

Among the names deceased identified this fare are Anne Marie D’Amico (30); 80 year old grandmother Dorothy Sewell; Munir Najjar; and chef Chul Min “Eddie” Kang.

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The Toronto Injury Lawyer Mailbag fills up with questions from our readership for personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger. Brian has taken the time to pick some interesting, and most asked questions about personal injury law in Ontario; what it’s like to be a personal injury lawyer; and some silly ones as well.

Please enjoy this rapid fire question & answer session with Brian Goldfinger.

Q: How many kids do you have

Brian Goldfinger: Two

Q: What it like being a personal injury lawyer with two kids?

Brian Goldfinger: Hard, but rewarding, but hard. The practice of law requires your time and attention, so do your kids. Finding that balance is a tricky dance. By the time you figure it out, your kids likely won’t need as much attention as they once did.

Q: What’s been your most interesting case.

Brian Goldfinger: That’s easy. It’s the case of the Brazilian Wax gone bad. A newly wed woman in anticipation of her romantic Carribean honeymoon got her first ever Brazilian Wax job. Let’s just say that the wax job was a disaster and required a number of sutures. I then worked on the file and got her the compensation which she deserved, and then some. It was a memorable case because the facts were so unique and you just don’t see that sort of injury, at that area of the body everyday.

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It’s December 20, 2017. We are in the thick of the Holiday Season. Brian Goldfinger, on behalf of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers PC wants to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

Brian Goldfinger would be lying if he told you that things slow down at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers PC around this time. That’s not a true statement.

We see a lot of insurers and defence lawyers alike looking to close their files. Our law firm also receives a lot of call and inquires through the holidays from prospective clients regarding serious car accident cases, slip and fall cases, motorcycle accidents and long term disability claims.

Just because the Courts close for a few days for the Holidays doesn’t mean that the world of personal injury law slows down. In fact, lots seems to happen for whatever reason one the Holidays. If Brian Goldfinger could give a good explanation as to why this happens, he would.

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If you are hearing a roar of applause, and perhaps laughter in delight, it’s coming from high atop the corporate head quarters and legal offices of auto insurers across Ontario.

Insurers won large in two recent Court of Appeal decisions which were released earlier this month:

El-Khodr v. Lackie, 2017 ONCA 716

Cobb v. Long Estate, 2017 ONCA 717

In the Cobb decision, a Jury verdict of $220,000 in favour of the injured accident victim plaintiff, was reduced by the Ontario Court of Appeal to just $22,136.60. After applying the statutory deductible for pain and suffering claims, that meant the case had no value whatsoever.

This case took 19 days to try before a Jury. Costs were awarded to the Plaintiff in the amount of $409,098.48. That cost award by the trial judge was completely eliminated by the Ontario Court of Appeal, who ruled that “in the circumstances, in my view, the fairest result to both sides is that each party bears its own costs“.

The Insurance Act and car accident legislation is intended to be consumer protection legislation. There are reasons that there are (and were) cost provisions against large insurers to ensure that the scales of justice were not tipped in their favour when it comes to the money required to litigate disputes.

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The Liberal Government of Ontario plans to introduce new tougher penalties to crack down on careless and distracted driving, this fall.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, along with some other MPPs, announced the new measures today in Toronto.

The legislation, if passed, is supposed to protect pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the number of fatality claims involving people killed or injured by drunk, distracted, impaired and/or dangerous drivers.

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In Ontario, if you win your case, a judge cannot award you a victory medal, a ticker tape celebratory parade, or a key to the City in your honour. The Judge also cannot order that the at fault party experience the same pain and suffering which you endure.

The only thing the Judge can do is award you compensation in the form of MONEY.  What you do with that money is up to you. So, if you want to take that money from your personal injury case and use it to get a permit and then have a celebratory parade, go right ahead.

It’s nothing personal, it’s busiess

The reality is that personal injury litigation is a serious business. It’s a business because there is money at stake.

That money doesn’t come from a small local charity or a mom and pop’s store/restaurant. In most cases, that money comes from a large, multi national insurance company with offices across Canada and other parts of the world. Most of these insurers trade publicly on stock exchanges world wide. They exist to earn a profit. The more money these insurers pay out in awards, the less money they get to report in profit for their share holders. Continue reading →

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In the November 6, 2015 edition of the Law Times, personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger wrote an article entitled “Three Day Summary Judgment Mini Trial”You can find a link to Mr. Goldfinger’s article here as reproduced in the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog.

Our lawyers were wondering when such a situation would occur? How does what seems to be a routine summary judgment motion where Affidavit evidence, and transcript evidence along with case law which is presented to a Judge, get converted to a mini trial or trial of an issue?

In what situation would this occur? How, why, when and by what mechanism does a Judge order a mini trial or trial of an issue in an Ontario personal injury law case?

Hot off the press, here might be your answer to those questions (and more):

CITATION: Minke v. Hartman, 2017 ONSC 3922

COURT FILE NO.: C-584-15

DATE: 2017/06/27

ONTARIO

SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

BETWEEN: )

)

 
Steven Minke, Linda Minke, Cameron Minke and Brittany Minke

Plaintiffs

– and –

Stephen Hartman, Foot Works and Foot Works Inc.

Defendants

)

))

) )

) )

) )

)

)

Brian R. Goldfinger and Azka Ashan, for the Plaintiffs
Anna L. Marrison and John McIntyre, for the Defendants
  )  
  )  
  ) HEARD: April 12, 2017

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE G.E. TAYLOR

REASONS FOR JUDGMENT

Introduction

  • This is a motion for summary judgment by the defendants seeking to dismiss the action due to the expiration of the limitation period.
  • Stephen Hartman is a chiropodist registered to practice in the Province of Ontario. From March, 2006 until November, 2010, Hartman provided footcare treatment to Steven Minke through his chiropody clinic in relation to Minke’s diabetic condition. While being treated by Hartman, Minke developed Charcot foot.
  • On May 15, 2012, Minke underwent a below the knee amputation of his right leg as a result of the Charcot foot.
  • By way of a report dated January 5, 2015, Dr. Perry Mayer a physician who specializes in the treatment of feet of diabetics and in particular the treatment of Charcot foot opined:

Had the appropriate treatment been undertaken at the initial presentation of foot deformity, Mr. Minke would not have lost his limb.

and,

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If you’ve been seriously hurt or injured in an accident; or you’ve been denied long term disability benefits by your insurer, you will likely need to retain a lawyer.

But, not just any lawyer. You will need a personal injury lawyer. Here are some quick tips on what to look for when selecting a personal injury lawyer:

  1. Make sure that they practice personal injury law exclusively! Don’t get a lawyer who dabbles in the odd personal injury or LTD matter. If you needed brain surgery, would you get a surgeon who does the occasional brain surgery, or would you want a brain surgeon who concentrates exclusively on brain surgery? The answer is obvious. Getting a so called “dabbler” is a recipe for disaster. Your case is too important to be messing around with.
  2. Does your personal injury lawyer actually do the work, or is your file being referred out of house? Do you want your lawyer referring your file elsewhere, or do you want your personal injury lawyer to be doing the work? If your file is being referred elsewhere, are you being charged a referral fee upon recovery which comes out of your award? If so, how much is that referral fee? If I were an injured accident victim, I would ensure that the lawyer who I retained was in fact doing the work which s/he was retained to do and not a law firm who I’ve never met with or heard of.
  3. Make sure you’re meeting with a lawyer, and not a “runner”: We have heard horror stories of accident victims in hospital who have been approached by people who represent themselves to be lawyers, when they aren’t. These people try to get unsuspecting accident victims and their families to sign paper work so that they can bill the insurer for services, or so that they can take their cases to law firms or paralegals to being working on their files. Our law firm has reported such incidents to the Financial Services Commission Fraud Hotline . Sadly, not much has come of our tips to the fraud hotline other than a few investigations which didn’t go anywhere for reasons unbeknownst to us. In any event, be weary of non lawyers posing as lawyer trying to get you to sign on the dotted line.

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