McLeish Orlando obtains highest damage award in history for Ontario crash victim
$18.4 million damages for severely injured teenager represented by McLeish Orlando LLP
McLeish Orlando LLP was privileged to represent the MacNeil family after 15 year-old Katherine-Paige MacNeil suffered a catastrophic brain injury.
The lawyers at McLeish Orlando argued the case at trial. In the end, Katherine-Paige MacNeil and her family were awarded more than $18.4 million by Justice Peter Howden of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
MacNeil, now 22, suffered a severe brain injury after the car in which she was a back seat passenger ran a stop sign at the end of a concession road north of Toronto and flew across Highway 89, landing in a ditch.
"This judgment will safeguard Katherine-Paige's future and ensure that she has the highest quality of life possible." says McLeish .
The court also awarded record amounts to Katherine-Paige's parents and brother, who have provided around the clock support to Katherine-Paige following the collision .
"The decision shows that our courts are now willing to give greater recognition to parents who shoulder the burden of care-giving," says McLeish.
Large Settlement for Young Girl Brings New Hope for Her Future in Canada
Annie was born in South Korea and immigrated to Canada with her parents and brother in 2000 when she was only 5 years old. Annie's parents had come to Canada with their children to provide them with a better life and more opportunities. Unfortunately, this dream came to an end on April 3, 2005, when Annie and her family were in a horrific car crash. Annie was a back seat passenger in her father's van when he lost control of the van on an icy road, crashing into oncoming vehicles, causing Annie to be ejected from the van.
Annie suffered devastating injuries. She was rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children, where the trauma team determined that Annie had suffered massive head injuries. The team was not certain Annie would survive.
Annie did survive after spending several months at The Hospital for Sick Children and Bloorview-McMillan Children's Centre. Annie, with her mother by her side, never gave up and worked hard towards her recovery.
When Annie was discharged home, her mother took over where the hospital staff left off and made many personal sacrifices, while her father continued to run the family business. Her mother worked incredibly hard with a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals to help Annie with her rehabilitation. Even with all the help Annie was receiving, it soon became obvious that she would never work at gainful employment and would require around the clock care.
Annie's injuries and losses were substantial and so were the losses felt by her family. Annie was 9 years old at the time of the collision. She was in grade four at St. Joseph's Catholic School. Annie was an excellent student, who achieved "As" and "Bs" for grades in her school. Annie also had a love of music and was enrolled in piano and singing lessons before the collision. Now Annie, who is confined primarily to a wheelchair, needs assistance throughout the day to help her with her mobility, speech and language, her school work, and social skills. Through it all, Annie has maintained her sweet and loving disposition towards anyone she meets and works with.
Expert evidence was provided on Annie's future rehabilitation needs by some of the best life care planners, economists and accountants in the country. The Defendants vigorously defended our claim for damages by retaining their own life care planner and economist to review and critique our reports. Comparing the Plaintiffs and the Defendants future cost of care reports, there was a $15,000,000 difference of opinion as to what Annie's future care needs would be and the cost of those meeting those needs.
After significant negotiations before trial, a team led by Dale Orlando and Alison Burrison settled Annie's claim for damages for $13,450,000.00, which represents one of the largest settlements in Canadian history. While Annie will continue to struggle with her disabilities for the remainder of her life, this settlement represents a new beginning with the hope of having everything she needs in her future to live a comfortable and happy life.