Tag Archives: Community

Press Release: Personal injury law Firm McLeish Orlando partners with Canadian Blood Services to encourage blood donations

Are you the type to help save a life?

McLeish Orlando has partnered with Canadian Blood Services to help make a difference for patients in Canada!

McLeish Orlando has implemented a new policy for its employees – all employees are entitled to two hours of leave from work at any point during 2021 in order to donate blood. We are pledging to donate 100 units of blood – and we can’t do it without YOU!

You already know you are impacting a patient’s life every time you donate. Just imagine the impact your entire team can make if you pledge to donate together! Grab your family and friends and have them join our team too! The MOre the merrier!

Click here to join now!

*Please note: A donor must be in good general health and at least 17 years old. On the day of your donation, you must have had enough food and sleep and should be very hydrated. The need for blood is constant and every donation counts.

Participate in UN Global Road Safety Week 2021 by Reducing Speed in Residential Neighborhoods

May 17th – 23rd, 2021 has been declared by the United Nations as Global Road Safety Week. The theme this year is #Love30 and calls for policymakers to act to reduce street speeds, limiting speeds to 30km/h in areas where people walk, live, and play.

Bike Law Canada, founded by McLeish Orlando partner, Patrick Brown, is joining the call for #Love30. We know speed kills, so it is time to slow things down and protect vulnerable road users and reduce road violence.  We are slowly seeing change.  Bike Law along with Friends and Families for Safe Streets (FFSS), and other organizations have made repeated requests for lower speeds. For example, earlier this week, the Toronto and East York Community Council are considering further reductions of speed limits to 30km/hour in their wards, effectively completing the reduction of speed limits on all local roads in the East York community.  We are making progress towards slower speeds, but sadly it is not happening quickly enough or broadly enough, 30km/hour needs to be the law and new standard in all residential areas.

Just last weekend we saw an example of this in our community. On Sunday, May 16th, a clear, sunny, warm day, two children were playing in their driveway, were struck, and ultimately killed by a black Mercedes. Neighbours reported that speed along their street has been an ongoing issue.  Again, we know that speed kills and this is another example of a completely preventable tragedy.

In light of this recent tragedy, help McLeish Orlando in creating change. We encourage you to call or e-mail your local city councilor and request that they lower speeds in your neighborhoods in order to protect vulnerable road users and end traffic fatalities on your streets.

Belton v Spencer, 2020 ONCA 623

Written By: Patrick Brown and Brandon Pedersen, Student-at-Law

Belton v Spencer, 2020 ONCA 623 | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

Whether civil jury trials should stay or go is a question that has confronted the legal community for some time now. In the current legal landscape, where COVID-19 plays a significant factor in these decisions, this has garnered increased attention from civil litigators and courts alike.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently discussed the striking of jury notices and proceeding by way of a judge-alone trial.

In Belton v Spencer, a personal injury action, the appellant moved under Rule 63.02(1)(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure for an order staying the order of Justice Sheard that struck out the parties’ jury notices.

The action was originally placed on the trial list for November 2018. In November 2019, the trial adjourned to commence in October 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic hit Ontario in March 2020, at which time the Superior Court of Justice restricted the scope of its operations. In June 2020, the parties were advised that due to the pandemic, it was unlikely that civil jury trials would take place in 2020 and that the trial would likely be delayed by another 12 to 18 months.

The respondent then moved to strike out the jury notices and sought to proceed by way of a judge-alone trial. The motion judge agreed and struck out the jury notices. The appellant filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal, to which the respondent filed a notice of motion with the Division Court to quash the appeal on the basis that the motion judge’s Order was interlocutory in nature. The parties were then advised that the judge-alone trial would begin in October 2020. The appellant served a notice of motion seeking to stay the Order pending the appeal to quash the order to strike out the jury notices.

The primary issue on the motion was whether the Order to strike the jury notices was interlocutory or final. Brown J.A. applied the test from RJR-MacDonald Inc v Canada (Attorney General), namely (1) is there a serious question to be tried (to justify the intervention of this appellate court); (2) will the moving party suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted; and (3) does the balance of convenience favour granting the stay?[1] Brown J.A. noted that the overriding question to be answered is whether the appellant has shown that it is in the interests of justice to grant a stay.

The Court worked through the RJR analysis beginning with the first aspect. In the reasons for the decision, Brown J.A. stated that the weight of the jurisprudence strongly suggested that the motion judge’s Order probably was interlocutory; however, the Court ultimately declined to definitely conclude that the Order was or was not interlocutory. Brown J.A. adopted the approach of Justice Simmons, where she stated in a recent Court of Appeal decision:

It is not for me, sitting as a single judge of this court, to determine whether this court has jurisdiction to entertain the appellants’ appeal. Nonetheless, if I were persuaded that the Order under appeal was interlocutory, or even probably interlocutory, that would militate against granting the requested stay.[2]

In regard to the second aspect of RJR, Brown J.A. was not persuaded that the appellant had demonstrated that she will suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted. Specifically, Brown J.A. stated:

Although the right to a civil jury trial is a substantive right, it is a qualified, not absolute, right, and is subject to removal where justice to the parties will be better served by the discharge of the jury. As this court stated in Cowles, at para. 38, neither party has an unfettered right to determine the mode of trial.[3]

The Court concluded that the balance of convenience overwhelmingly favours not granting a stay of the Order and allowing the trial of the action to proceed. Brown J.A. stated that the appellant’s submission ignores the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the ability of the courts to offer civil jury trials at this point in time.

In regard to the overriding consideration in deciding whether or not to grant the stay, the Court held that the very fact that this was a question at issue may affect the outcome made it less likely that the stay will be granted:

This action is long overdue for trial, concerning as it does events that took place 10 years ago. The parties are ready for trial and have been for some time. COVID-19 came out of left-field and upset the trial court’s scheduling … If not tried [now], the record shows that it will likely be over a year before the matter can return before a civil jury. That would be an unconscionable wait. The qualified right to a civil jury trial cannot dictate such a result, as it would be completely contrary to the interests of justice. Consequently, I dismiss the appellant’s motion for a stay of the Order.[4]

If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury, contact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a free consultation.

 

[1] RJR-MacDonald Inc v Canada (Attorney General), [1994] 1 SCR 311.

[2] Fontaine v Attorney General of Canada, 2020 CanLII 64770 (ON CA) at para 14.

[3] Belton v Spencer, 2020 ONCA 623 at para 54.

[4] Ibid at para 78.

PIA Summer Webinar Series | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

PIA Summer Webinar Series – Session #2

Get the Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Personal Injury Law Questions

Learn practical tips & tools on legal representation during the Pandemic and how COVID-19 has impacted supports for people living with the effects of brain injury in a 3-Part Webinar Series presented by our Corporate Platinum Sponsor PIA Law.

Presenters: Lindsay Charles & Nick Todorovic, Lawyers at McLeish Orlando

  • How long should my case take?
  • Can my lawyer tell me how much my case is worth?
  • What is an Examination for Discovery?
  • What does it mean when the insurer denies a benefit?
  • What is the LAT (License Appeal Tribunal)?
  • If we don’t settle at Mediation, does that mean we go to Trial?
  • What is a Pre-Trial Conference and its purpose? And more

A Rally for Stricter Laws and Harsher Penalties for Impaired and Dangerous Drivers

A Rally for Stricter Laws and Harsher Penalties for Impaired and Dangerous Drivers | McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

From Left to Right: Patrick Brown, Lindsay Charles, Nick Todorovic, William Harding, Cheryl Bigelow, Brandon Pedersden, Ryan Marinacci, Barbara Dacal, Nicole Fielding

On Sunday, August 16, 2020, McLeish Orlando was proud to attend a rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto. We volunteered as marshals, handed out water to all attendees, and made signs to help support the message. Over 100 people, in masks, protested through the rain, calling for changes to both provincial and federal laws.

On June 18, 2020, in Brampton, Brady Robertson, a repeat offender and driving with a suspended license, recklessly drove through the intersection of Torbram Road and Countryside Drive. Robertson drove against a red light, and violently t-boned a vehicle at over 100 km per hour, killing 37-year-old Karolina Ciasullo and her three daughters; Klara (6 years old), Lilianna (3 years old) and Mila (1-year-old).

Following their tragic deaths, Jillian McLeod, a Brampton resident created an online petition calling for tougher laws and harsher penalties, in support of the Ciasullo, Lugiewicz, and Martin families. Currently, the petition has over 83,000 signatures. McLeod was astonished by the amount of support the petition got, along with all of the private messages, tweets, and comments from the community and beyond, sharing stories of how their lives had been impacted by impaired or dangerous drivers and family members who had been killed or seriously injured. This support is what sparked the idea for the rally.

McLeish Orlando Partner, Patrick Brown is representing the families. We are committed to helping them to create the changes needed to the laws for dangerous and impaired drivers. Follow our social media accounts for updates.

McLeod knows that more needs to be done and is continuing to work to change our justice system.  Follow the Facebook Page she created for more information about how you can get involved.

The online petition can be found here. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to sign it.

Too many Ontario families have had loved ones killed or seriously injured by impaired or dangerous drivers. Impaired and dangerous driving remains the leading cause of road fatalities across Canada. It is time that the laws are changed to protect our communities from these reckless drivers. Currently, Ontario law imposes very little punishment to individuals who have either killed or seriously injured someone, which leaves the victim’s families devastated and feeling that no justice has been served.

We encourage everyone to e-mail their local MMP demanding change. You can find your riding’s MPP here. Download a sample letter to your MPP here.

Speeding? Toronto’s Speed Enforcement Cameras Set to Begin Issuing Tickets

Written By: William Harding and Nicole Kiselyov, Summer Student

Toronto’s Speed Enforcement Cameras Set to Begin Issuing Tickets

Starting July 6, Toronto will begin issuing tickets for speeding, using speed enforcement cameras. This is a positive step towards a safer city for Toronto’s vulnerable road users. In 2019 alone, 43 pedestrians were killed on the streets of Toronto.

Mayor John Tory tweeted on June 26. 2020 “Starting July 6, the City’s 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras will start ticketing drivers who are caught traveling in excess of the posted speed limit. ASE is one of the many tools in our #VisionZero toolbox intended to reduce speeding in our city and save lives.”[1]

The Ford government approved regulations to allow the operation of these speed cameras back in December 2019. Ticketing was set to begin in April but this was delayed, due to COVID-19.

Since then, warning letters have been issued to those picked up by the cameras. In February and March alone, the city reports 25, 000 warning letters were sent out [2].

The city has installed 50 cameras on local, collector, and arterial roads in Community Safety Zones near schools [3]. The placement of these cameras was chosen based on data collected indicating speeding problems there in the past.

This news could not come at a more critical time. As the roads have been quitter amid the pandemic, this has brought speeding and stunt driving to rise.

How it Works

The cameras track the speed of approaching cars and take a photo of the vehicles that are exceeding the posted speed limit. A ticket is then mailed to the address associated with the car’s license plate.

Tickets will be issued automatically to the owner of the vehicle, regardless of who is driving. Although demerit points will not be included with these tickets, drivers can face some serious fines. Total fines will consist of a set provincial fine, a victim surcharge, and court costs.

Drivers will be looking at the following set fines break down:

  • Speeding 1-19 km/h will result in a fine of $5 per kilometre
  • Speeding 20-29 km/h will result in a fine of $7.50 per kilometre
  • Speeding 30-49 km/h will result in a fine of $12 per kilometre
  • Speeding 50 km/h will mean an automatic court summons for the vehicle owner to appear before a Justice of the Peace and they will not be eligible for settlement outside of court[4]

Residents with program-specific comments or questions should call 311 or email 311@toronto.ca.  More information can be found HERE.

 

[1]https://twitter.com/JohnTory/status/1276548185968738306?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1276548185968738306%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2020%2F06%2Ftoronto-speed-enforcement-cameras%2F

[2] https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/06/toronto-speed-enforcement-cameras/

[3] https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/safety-initiatives/automated-speed-enforcement/

[4]https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-photo-radar-tickets-1.5628529

The Breakfast Club of Canada

McLeish Orlando Proudly Supports The Breakfast Club of Canada

In June McLeish Orlando proudly donated $10,000 in support of The Breakfast Club of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund Campaign #FeedKidsNow. Back in March, when schools in Ontario closed, and the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent, the Breakfast Club of Canada immediately pivoted their approach and found new ways to safely get nutritious foods and funding to Canadian children and families who now found themselves facing food insecurity. Seemingly overnight Breakfast Club of Canada went from supporting school breakfast programs to becoming “Community Food Insecure Emergency funders” in order to continue to safely support the thousands of children and families who depend on the food they receive from the club every day.

Read The Breakfast Club of Canada’s thank you letter here.

Listen to the thank you voice from Dianne Woodhouse note below:

The Record – Here’s what one local charity has learned from the pandemic

“Here’s what one local charity has learned from the pandemic,” published by Luisa D’Amato for The Record, discuss the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington (BIAWW), and how they are pivoting in order to support their community during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The article is in interview format with Lynda Abshoff, the executive direction of BIAWW. One of BIAWW’s major fundraisers is making and selling greeting cards handcrafted by brain injury survivors. They used to get together in person to make them, but now some of the card makers have taken supplies home and can connect online while making the cards. For some brain injury survivors, it is easier for them to be in their own space and using the tools online to connect, rather than meeting in person. “Like introverts, some brain injury survivors are more comfortable talking and sharing stories without making eye contact. Online activities allow them to stay connected and still work on meaningful projects. We will absolutely continue to hold these activities online,” says Abshoff. McLeish Orlando’s 2019 holiday cards were made by BIAWW’s community of brain injury survivors. While BIAWW’s local retail card locations are all closed right now, they have online card sales. Click here to learn more.

Perhaps the most poignant takeaway from this article is the connection that Abshoff makes between brain injuries and isolation, “The rest of the world now knows what it`s like to be isolated. Brain injury survivors, because of their inability to work and be out in society, have been isolated for years. That was their normal before, so it may not be as much of a shocking change for them as it is others.”

McLeish Orlando is proud to support incredible organizations like the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington (BIAWW). During this current pandemic, organizations like BIAWW are adapting to maintain support for its members. We are proud to support this great organization. Click here to find out how you can also support BIAWW.

McLeish Orlando Commitment to Continued Client Service During the COVID-19 Outbreak

With the recent progression of the COVID-19 virus, we want to reach out to you to let you know that the lawyers and staff of McLeish Orlando remain committed to the continuity of service to you and your family.

McLeish Orlando is monitoring all information available on COVID-19 published by reputable sources including the WHO, Canadian, Provincial and local health agencies.  We are following the current directives provided by health agencies to employers and will continue to abide by these directives in this rapidly changing environment.

We are taking every reasonable measure to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for staff, lawyers and clients, and will continue to do so as this situation evolves. The health and well-being of you, your families, and our employees is our top priority. We have implemented many precautionary measures with respect to flexible work arrangements, sanitization, travel, events, and in-person meetings and we are adjusting our Business Continuity Plan as needed.

At this time, the offices of McLeish Orlando remain open during regular business hours. McLeish Orlando operates on a completely paperless system which allows us to continue servicing our clients while allowing employees the choice of working from home.  Where our staff have chosen to work remotely, they can access all firm software systems including e-mail, calendars and all relevant documents in your client file. We are committed to continuing to provide you and your family with exceptional legal service through this challenging time.

Please feel free to with any questions you may have.

The Partners of McLeish Orlando

2nd Annual Health Advocates Education Conference

McLeish Orlando is proud to be a Diamond Level Sponsor of BIAPH’s 2nd Annual Health and Advocates Education Conference. This year the conference is going virtual!

If you have registered for the April 3, 2020 date, your registration will be automatically moved to the October 28, 2020 conference.

This unique learning experience which will use a multidisciplinary approach to bridge gaps in knowledge and provide helpful and practical tips and strategies on how to effectively advocate for clients and assist in ensuring that funding for treatment is provided.

For the conference agenda, click here.

We hope to see you there!

Rocket Ride for Rehab

McLeish Orlando is excited to sponsor Toronto Rehab Institute’s first ever Rocket Ride for Rehab.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of the premier, one-of-a-kind, spin event in the heart of the financial district! The event is taking place at First Canadian Place on the main floor, and the session is being led by instructors from Rocket Cycle. For more information about the event, click here.
All funds raised will support Toronto Rehab Foundation.
Click here to register for the event. Spin Session #1 is sold out, but there are still spots left for Spin Session #2!

Rowan’s Law Day: Concussion Awareness and Safety

Written By: Nick Todorovic

The last Wednesday of every September has been declared Rowan’s Law Day to promote concussion awareness and safety. This year, Rowan’s Law Day will be commemorated on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019.

Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa, died at age 17 on Mother’s Day in 2013 as a result of suffering multiple concussions. Rowan suffered three concussions in the span of six days while playing rugby[1], which remained undetected by her parents, teachers, coaches, and peers. The cause of Rowan’s death was determined to be second impact syndrome, which is swelling of the brain caused by a subsequent injury to the brain before the previous brain injury fully healed.[2]

A concussion is a brain injury, which can result in permanent brain damage, disability, and death.[3] It is caused by one or several blows to the head, face, neck, or body that transmits force to the head, causing the brain to move within the skull.[4] Concussions can happen anywhere and are not limited to sports. They can occur at work, school, or at home, or in motor vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian collisions. The leading causes of head injuries in Ontario were sports (45%), followed by falls (16%) and bicycle collisions (5%).[5]

Concussions can be subtle and difficult to detect, so it is important to be aware of common physical, cognitive, and emotional signs and symptoms. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Pressure in the head
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Depression

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately and follow the health practitioner’s directions.

In addition to Rowan’s Law Day, MPP Lisa MacLeod advocated for change in Rowan’s Law (Bill 193), which was given royal assent on March 7, 2018. Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 makes it mandatory for sports organizations in Ontario to:

  • Ensure athletes under 26 years old, parents of athletes under 18, coaches, team trainers and officials confirm every day that they reviewed Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources;
  • Establish a Concussion Code of Conduct that establishes rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention; and
  • Establish a Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocol.[6]

If you, as an athlete or spectator, suspect a concussion has occurred, you should:

  • Remove yourself or the athlete from the activity, even if you feel fine or the athlete insists they are ok.
  • Get yourself or the athlete examined by a physician or a nurse.
  • Support gradual and safe return to sport.[7]

With Rowan’s Law in effect and Rowan’s Law Day officially designated, Ontario has proven to be a leader in concussion awareness and prevention in Canada. Rowan’s father, Gordon Stringer, highlighted the need for change across the country: “The heavy lifting has been done here in Ontario. But this is not an Ontario issue. This is something that needs to be addressed across Canada”.[8]

While commemorating Rowan, it is hoped that this tragic and preventable death will spark more concussion awareness, safety, and prevention in the rest of the country.

[1] https://www.ontario.ca/page/rowans-law-day#section-1

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://obia.ca/concussion-resources/

[4] Health Canada Concussion Infographic

[5] Ibid.

[6] https://www.ontario.ca/page/rowans-law-concussion-safety

[7] https://www.ontario.ca/page/rowans-law-concussion-awareness-resources

[8] Supra, note 3.

Choosing the Right Daycare for Your Children

Written By: Michael Warfe and Courtney Stewart, Student-at-Law

Earlier this year parents who had dropped their children off at a daycare in Roncesvalles, a booming neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto, were informed that the daycare building was being evacuated after part of the ceiling had collapsed, including parts of a ceiling fan.

Police were called to the scene and three children were treated for injuries.

While it was initially reported to both the public and the parents that none of the children were taken to hospital, parents of one of the injured children were called and redirected to an emergency department, where their daughter was treated for injuries to her face and eyes.

If your child is injured at a daycare, you and your child may be entitled to compensation under the Occupier’s Liability Act. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act, property owners and those having responsibility for and control over the condition of the property are legally responsible for ensuring that the property is reasonably safe for those using it. They must exercise reasonable care in their maintenance and inspection of the property.

Police investigated the cause of the collapsed ceiling and a City of Toronto building inspector was called to assist. The building passed inspection in 2013 and had not been investigated by the city since. City inspectors found no further risk of harm but stated that they will be requesting an engineering assessment of the building.

Parents with children at that daycare likely scrambled to find new daycares for their children in a city where waiting lists for daycares can be extensive. As these parents, and new parents looking for daycares for their children start their search, here are some points to consider:

Licensing

All daycares, including home-based care programs, require licenses if they care for more than 2 children under the age of two (including the care provider’s own children), or if they care for more than 5 children over the age of two (including the care provider’s own children under the age of six). If the daycare you are looking at should have a license, make sure the license is prominently displayed. Licensed daycares are required to meet the minimum standards set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. Click here for more information on those standards.

Adequate Supervision

Minimum staff-to-children ratios are one of the standards included under the Child Care and Early Years Act. Ask what the staff-to-children ratio is at any potential daycare and ensure that there is adequate supervision for your child.

Childproofing

Ensure the daycare is childproofed. Take a look for the same things you did when you were childproofing your home, such as covered outlets, stairs blocked by gates, toxic substances out of reach and secure, etc.

Health and Sanitization

Ask about their health and sanitization policies to ensure that the daycare providers have handwashing policies in place for children and staff and that they regularly sanitize changing tables, toys and equipment.

Food Safety

Daycare health and sanitization extends to a daycare’s food safety policies. To minimize the risk that your child will suffer a food-borne or allergy related illness, ask daycares how they store and prepare their food and what preventative measures they have in place for food allergies.

First Aid and Medication

Ask if the staff members are properly trained in CPR and pediatric first-aid. Look to see if they have a first-aid kit on hand. If your child may require medication you will want to ensure that the daycare has procedures on how to deal with health information, how to track and monitor medication administration and how to safely store medications.

Emergency Planning

Enquire about the daycare’s emergency plan which should cover everything from health-related accidents to fire, violence and natural disasters. Ask when the last fire drill took place, how often the drills are practiced and make sure there are functioning fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in place.

It can be scary to entrust the care of your children to other people. Taking the time to investigate each potential daycare to assure yourself that they are meeting the standards under the Child Care and Early Years Act as well as your own personal standards will help make the process easier. If your child has suffered an injury as a result of inadequate daycare, contact one of the critical injury lawyers at McLeish Orlando for a consultation.