Seriously injured accident victims received an early Christmas present from the Ontario Court of Appeal this morning. The Court released its long-awaited decision on catastrophic impairment in Kusnierz v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company. In it, the Court reversed the decision of Mr. Justice Lauwers, who had held that assessors could not combine psychological and physical impairment scores to determine an injured person’s Whole Person Impairment (WPI) score. Instead, the Court adopted the previous practice espoused by Spiegel J. in the 2004 decision of Desbiens v. Mordini.
Justice MacPherson, writing for a unanimous Court of Appeal, set out five reasons in support of its decision to allow the combining of physical and psychological impairment scores.