Articles Posted in Legal News

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In a perfect world, the Courtroom presents a level playing field. There are rules which are meant to be followed. There is a neutral unbiased judge who acts as trier of fact; decides right from wrong; just from unjust.

When the rules of the Courtroom are tweaked, those tweaks have unintended (or sometimes secretly deeply calculated) consequences.

With this edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, I would like to present to the general public what some tweaks in our Courtrooms can do to the Average Joe/Jane at trial.

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Personal injury law should be simple.

Plaintiff sustains an injury in an accident (the damages component).

Defendant’s negligence caused the accident (the liability component)

Plaintiff’s injuries directly caused as a result of the Defendant’s negligence (the causation component).

Any personal injury case without all three of these components will fail. When you put it out in such easy to understand terms, it would seem that personal injury litigation is very straight forward.

But it’s not.

Insurer’s will challenge the Plaintiff’s position every way until Sunday. That’s their job. Insurance companies don’t gratuitously throw money at claims which they don’t believe have merit. And even claims which they believe have merit are viewed through a difference valuation lens than then injured accident victim and his/her personal injury lawyer. Translation: The injured Plaintiff will think that their case is worth a lot. The Defendant insurer will think the opposite. Getting parties to agree to a valuation of damages can be a tricky exercise.

Aside from the normal defense tactics of surveillance (both in person and online), defence medical examination, digging in to one’s pre-accident history and testing their credibility at each step; there are other barriers to a Plaintiff’s recovery which can be even more difficult to overcome than a tactful defence lawyer.

It’s those hidden barriers to recovery which we wish to examine in this week’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post.

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This instalment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is not your typical personal injury piece. Reason being, this has not been your typical week in the world of the law and politics in Ontario. As detailed below, this has been a historic week.

Earlier today, Doug Ford and his Conservative majority government enacted section 33 of the Charter, commonly referred to as the Notwithstanding Clause in order to uphold The Better Local Government Act.

The Better Local Government Act was passed by Premier Ford’s majority government to reduce the number of seats in the ongoing Toronto Municipal election from 47 seats, down to 25.

The Honourable Justice Belobaba ruled that Premier Ford’s Better Local Government Act was unconstitutional as it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Premier Ford recalled legislature today and passed a resolution declaring that The Better Local Government Act would apply “notwithstanding” the Charter.

Essentially, Premier Ford used his supreme constitutional power to overrule the decision of a Judge to pass the legislation which the Judge had deemed to be unconstitutional.

Constitutional lawyers across Canada and legal academics rejoice. They haven’t seen so much CORAF action since the 1980’s.

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Recently in the news, a Windsor Ontario doctor was disciplined for over prescribing opioid medication. His license to practice medicine was revoked. This was the first disciplinary case of its kind involving the over prescribing of opioid medication where the doctor lost his license to practice medicine.

Also recently, the government of British Columbia launched the first law suit of its kind against opioid manufacturers and distributors alleging that the drugs created more negatives and burdens for the health care industry than benefits.

The trend is that opioid medication is bad. Personal Injury lawyers see this trend on the front lines with respect to how their clients react to opioid medication. Times are certainly changing and medication trends are heading in a different direction. They are trending towards cannabis.

It used to be that smoking cannabis for chronic pain was taboo. Pot smokers were frowned upon by the Courts, insurers and jurors thinking that the smoker was masking their smoking habit just to get high. The disingenuous comment “I need to smoke pot for my pain” was very common and was sneered upon.

With the recent crack downs on opioid medication, and a better understanding of the potential harms which opioid medication can cause; more people (and doctors) are seeking out alternative remedies. Enter medical cannabis.

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Fact: Goldfinger Injury Lawyers receives a spike in phone calls from prospective clients both during, and after the Labour Day Long Weekend.

Fact: The majority of these calls come from injured accident victims and their loved ones inquiring about their personal injury claims as a consequence of somebody’s negligence which took place over the long weekend.

Fact: The majority of these accidents and resulting injuries are avoidable. Often times, these injury claims arise on account of mental errors, errors in judgment, or just bad behaviour.

Here’s what you need to know heading in to the Labour Day Long Weekend from the perspective of a personal injury lawyer who has seen a few things…

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*UPDATED RELEASE (July 31, 2018)

Brian Goldfinger’s Legal Advertising Case Concluded

TORONTO: A resolution reached on June 20, 2018 between ‎lawyer Brian Goldfinger and the regulator of Ontario’s legal profession has resulted in new case law that will aid lawyers in navigating the rules that govern lawyer advertising.

A resolution agreement that was initially presented to a panel of adjudicators at the Law Society of Ontario Tribunal on June 20, 2018, stated that some of Mr. Goldfinger’s advertising constituted “misconduct” under the Law Society’s rules, but that it was neither dishonest nor intentionally deceptive.

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The purpose of this entry of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to focus on a rather long personal injury case called Davies v. The Corporation of the Municipality of Clarington.

This is the case about a Via Trail derailment on what should have been a routine trip from Toronto to Montreal on November 23, 1999.

100+ passengers claimed injuries by way of class action.

Liability was sorted out by way of class action by way of trial in 2007.

But what wasn’t sorted out was the quantification of damages for one injured passenger; Christopher Zuber. Injuries, causation and the quantification of damages was the focus of this trial.

Mr. Zuber’s personal injury case in its entirety lasted around 17 years.

The trial took around 26 weeks (approximately 107 days to complete). It is believed this was the longest single personal injury jury trial in Ontario Court history (but we have no real concrete stats on it).

Here are some comments from the Honourable Justice Edwards about this case which speak for themselves on what it takes to suceed in a personal injury case, along with the state of modern personal injury litigation in Ontario. These comments are worth noting for any personal injury lawyer, or for any member of the general public with an active personal injury case on the go in Ontario. The comments of the Honourable Justice Edwards are also important to understanding how personal injury cases work, and are assessed in Ontario. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from the Judge in this decision.

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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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